- 1 [uncountable] (often used before nouns or in compounds) a hard solid mineral substance that is found in the ground, often used for building Most of the houses are built of stone. stone walls a stone floor a flight of stone steps see also drystone wall, limestone, sandstone, soapstone See related entries: Materials and properties, Construction
- 2 [countable] (especially British English) a small piece of rock of any shape a pile of stones Some children were throwing stones into the lake. see also hailstone, philosopher’s stone
- 3 [countable] (usually in compounds) a piece of stone shaped for a particular purpose These words are carved on the stone beside his grave. see also cornerstone, foundation stone, gravestone, headstone, lodestone, millstone, paving stone, stepping stone, tombstone jewel
- 4[countable] = precious stone in fruit
- 5[countable] (especially British English) (usually North American English pit) a hard shell containing the nut or seed in the middle of some types of fruit cherry/peach stones in body
- 6[countable] (often in compounds) a small piece of hard material that can form in the bladder or kidney and cause pain kidney stones see also gallstone measurement of weight
- 7 [countable] (pl. stone) (abbreviation st) (in Britain) a unit for measuring weight, equal to 6.35 kg or 14 pounds He weighs over 15 stone. She's trying to lose a stone. Word Origin Old English stān (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch steen and German Stein. The verb dates from Middle English (first recorded in sense (1)).Extra examples He is a sculptor who works mainly in stone. She had the stone set in a ring. Some loose stones tumbled down the slope behind her. The boys were caught throwing stones at passing trains. The path’s stone flags were worn and broken. The stone circle at Avebury is larger than Stonehenge. The stone is cut into blocks ready for building. The walls were hewn from local stone. These rules are not set in stone. a carved stone fireplace names carved in stone a stone bridge/floor/carving cherry/peach stonesIdioms (of a decision, plan, etc.) unable to be changed People should remember that our proposals aren't set in stone. to be a person who does not show others sympathy or pity to achieve two things at the same time with one action to try every possible course of action in order to find or achieve something almost impossible to obtain Getting an apology from him was like getting blood from a stone. (saying) you should not criticize other people, because they will easily find ways of criticizing you (saying) a person who moves from place to place, job to job, etc. does not have a lot of money, possessions or friends but is free from responsibilities a very short distance away We live just a stone's throw from here. The hotel is within a stone's throw of the beach.