From New Latin sceleton, 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 (sklirós, “hard”).
- sceleton (obsolete)
- (anatomy) The system that provides support to an organism, internal and made up of bones and cartilage in vertebrates, external in some other animals.
- 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Treasure Hunt—Flint’s Pointer”, in Treasure Island, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, Limited, published 14 November 1883, OCLC 702939134, part VI (Captain Silver), page 263:
- 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.
- An anthropomorphic representation of a skeleton.
- She dressed up as a skeleton for Halloween.
- 1724, Charles Johnson, “Of Captain Spriggs and His Crew”, in A General History of the Pyrates, […], 2nd edition, London: Printed for, and sold by T. Warner, […], OCLC 2276353, pages 411–412:
- A Day or two after they parted, [Francis] Spriggs was choſe Captain by the reſt, and a black Enſign was made, which they called Jolly Roger, with the ſame Device that Captain [Edward] Low carried, viz. a white Skeliton in the Middle of it, with a Dart in one Hand ſtriking a bleeding Heart, and in the other, an Hour Glaſs; when this was finiſhed and hoiſted, they fired all their Guns to ſalute their Captain and themſelves, and then looked out for Prey.
- (figuratively) A very thin person.
- She lost so much weight while she was ill that she became a skeleton.
- (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.
- (architecture) A frame that provides support to a building or other construction.
- (computing) A client-helper procedure that communicates with a stub.
- In remote method invocation, the client helper is a ‘stub’ and the service helper is a ‘skeleton’.
- (geometry) The vertices and edges of a polyhedron, taken collectively.
- (printing) A very thin form of light-faced type.
- (attributive) Reduced to a minimum or bare essentials.
- 2020 April 8, Matt Lovering, “An opportunity for the rail industry to deliver major change”, in Rail, page 46:
- The rail industry has survived the first fortnight of the UK's COVID-19 crisis. Quick intervention from the Department of Transport has ensured that franchise operators will remain solvent during this period; rapid work to replan the timetable has delivered a minimum viable service plan; and the Kitchener-esque appeal for retired signal workers should ensure that the network can continue to operate a skeleton service.
- (anatomy): ottomy (obsolete), skellington (nonstandard)
- (very thin person): see also Thesaurus:thin person
- (central core giving shape to something): backbone
- (computing): stub
- 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.
The etymology of the term is disputed between two versions.
- From the sled used, which originally was a bare frame, like a skeleton.
- From Norwegian kjaelke (a type of ice sled) through a bad anglicization as "skele".
- (sports, uncountable) A type of tobogganing in which competitors lie face down, and descend head first (compare luge).
- (type of tobogganing): skeleton tobogganing
- IBSF (International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation), "Skeleton history" (2015)
- accusative singular of skeleto
skeleton m (uncountable)
- skeleton (winter sport)
skeleton m (uncountable)
- skeleton (type of tobogganing)