Definitions for: Skeleton


[n] the internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shape; "the building has a steel skeleton"
[n] the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal



Webster (1913) Definition: Skel"e*ton, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ???? (sc. ???) a dried
body, a mummy, fr. ???? dried up, parched, ???? to dry, dry
up, parch.]
1. (Anat.)
(a) The bony and cartilaginous framework which supports
the soft parts of a vertebrate animal.

Note: [See Illust. of the Human Skeleton, in Appendix.]
(b) The more or less firm or hardened framework of an
invertebrate animal.

Note: In a wider sense, the skeleton includes the whole
connective-tissue framework with the integument and its
appendages. See Endoskeleton, and Exoskeleton.

2. Hence, figuratively:
(a) A very thin or lean person.
(b) The framework of anything; the principal parts that
support the rest, but without the appendages.

The great skeleton of the world. --Sir M. Hale.
(c) The heads and outline of a literary production,
especially of a sermon.


Skel"e*ton, a.
Consisting of, or resembling, a skeleton; consisting merely
of the framework or outlines; having only certain leading
features of anything; as, a skeleton sermon; a skeleton
crystal.

Skeleton bill, a bill or draft made out in blank as to the
amount or payee, but signed by the acceptor. [Eng.]

Skeleton key, a key with nearly the whole substance of the
web filed away, to adapt it to avoid the wards of a lock;
a master key; -- used for opening locks to which it has
not been especially fitted.

Skeleton leaf, a leaf from which the pulpy part has been
removed by chemical means, the fibrous part alone
remaining.

Skeleton proof, a proof of a print or engraving, with the
inscription outlined in hair strokes only, such proofs
being taken before the engraving is finished.

Skeleton regiment, a regiment which has its complement of
officers, but in which there are few enlisted men.

Skeleton shrimp (Zo["o]l.), a small crustacean of the genus
Caprella. See Illust. under L[ae]modipoda.

Synonyms: frame, frame, skeletal frame, skeletal system, systema skeletale, underframe

See Also: aircraft, building, chassis, edifice, endoskeleton, exoskeleton, hoop, musculoskeletal system, ship, skeletal structure, supporting structure, system

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