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From Ancient Greek σκελετός (skeletós, dried up, withered, dried body, parched, mummy), from σκέλλω (skéllō, dry, dry up, make dry, parch), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelh₁- (to parch, wither); compare Greek σκληρός "hard".



skeleton (plural skeletons or skeleta)

  1. (anatomy) The system that provides support to an organism, internal and made up of bones and cartilage in vertebrates, external in some other animals.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island,
      At the foot of a pretty big pine, and involved in a green creeper, which had even partly lifted some of the smaller bones, a human skeleton lay, with a few shreds of clothing, on the ground.
  2. (architecture) A frame that provides support to a building or other construction.
  3. (figuratively) A very thin person.
    She lost so much weight while she was ill that she became a skeleton.
  4. (From the sled used, which originally was a bare frame, like a skeleton.) A type of tobogganing in which competitors lie face down, and descend head first (compare luge). See Wikipedia:Skeleton (sport)
  5. (computing) A client-helper procedure that communicates with a stub.
    RMI Nomenclature: in RMI, the client helper is a 'stub' and the service helper is a 'skeleton'.
  6. (geometry) The vertices and edges of a polyhedron, taken collectively.
  7. An anthropomorphic representation of a skeleton. See Wikipedia:Skeleton (undead)
    She dressed up as a skeleton for Halloween.
  8. (figuratively) The central core of something that gives shape to the entire structure.
    The skeleton of the organisation is essentially the same as it was ten years ago, but many new faces have come and gone.



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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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skeleton (third-person singular simple present skeletons, present participle skeletoning, simple past and past participle skeletoned)

  1. (archaic) to reduce to a skeleton; to skin; to skeletonize
  2. (archaic) to minimize




  1. accusative singular of skeleto


French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


skeleton m (uncountable)

  1. skeleton (winter sport)

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skeleton m (uncountable)

  1. skeleton (type of tobogganing)

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