skull and crossbones

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

skull and crossbones (plural skull and crossbones or skulls and crossbones)

  1. An outline of a human skull and two crossed bones; a symbol of death traditionally used on the Jolly Roger, but now used as a warning on poisons.
    • 1973, Richard C. Colton, Practical handbook of industrial traffic management‎, page 579:
      When poisons are involved, red skull and crossbones are added.
    • 1994, William G. Boltz, The origin and early development of the Chinese writing system‎, page 16:
      The skull and crossbones is, to be sure, a visual sign that communicates a very specific meaning.
    • 1996, Cary Nelson; Jefferson Hendricks, Madrid 1937: letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish, page 554:
      There was a big red cross in the center and around it were two skull and crossbones
    • 2005, Jason Corburn, Street science: community knowledge and environmental health justice, page 182:
      Skulls and crossbones- were used to label toxic storage sites

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