Definition of bony in English:


adjectivebonier, boniest

  • 1Of or like bone.

    ‘the bony plates that protect turtles and tortoises’
    • ‘Unlike other turtles, the leatherback has no visible shell; instead, it has a carapace made up of hundreds of irregular bony plates, covered with a leathery skin.’
    • ‘Neither of these jawless fish has a bony skeleton, but most of the fossil groups listed on the cladogram had a fairly extensive covering of bony plates.’
    • ‘As early vertebrates grew larger and developed bony scales or plates between their tissues and the water, they developed gills for taking up oxygen from the water.’
    • ‘Their scaleless body is covered in hard bony plates.’
    • ‘However, its skull also shows the characteristic osteoderms, or bony plates in the skin, that distinguish crocodiles from their dinosaur relatives.’
    • ‘The bony plates are absorbed within a few weeks after the fish settle to the bottom.’
    • ‘The dome of the skull, for example, is made of bony plates, which must be immovable to protect the brain.’
    • ‘Like all placoderms, they lacked teeth, instead using the sharpened edges of a bony plate as a biting surface.’
    • ‘Their slender bodies are covered with rows of bony plates.’
    • ‘The water is strained through a series of bony plates that trap the small creatures making up the baleen whale's main diet.’
    • ‘The bony plates on the armadillos' back serves as protective armour from predators.’
    • ‘Where other fish have scales, the sturgeon has an armour of bony plates with a few lines of these protruding scutes running down the length of the fish.’
    • ‘A number of types of armor have been found with it, indicating that primitive as well as advanced titanosaurs possessed bony plates in the skin.’
    • ‘Their skin is covered with non-overlapping scales composed of the protein keratin and often studded with bony plates called scutes.’
    • ‘The carapace is closed behind the dorsal fin; bony plates surround the entire dorsal fin base.’
    • ‘What's more, they were only scattered bony scales and plates.’
    • ‘These whales force seawater through baleen plates (combs of bony material that form in the place of teeth) to filter out the tiny sea creatures.’
    • ‘Dermal bone consists of bony structures (plates and scales) that develop in the skin.’
    • ‘The head contains bony plates with short spines at the tip of the snout and anterior to the eye.’
    • ‘Maybe the Stegosaur loaned the seahorse its bony plate of armour.’
    1. 1.1 (of a fish eaten as food) having many bones.
      • ‘The grayling were somewhat bony, but they finished off the three fish without complaint and supplemented their meal with a handful of the dried berries.’
      • ‘Steamed fish or bony kippers don't feature much in today's childhood diets.’
      • ‘The meat from these fish is white, flaky, and sweet, but bony.’
      • ‘This shark feeds primarily on bony fishes such as parrot, trigger, squirrel, surgeon, damsel and goat fishes as well as eels.’
      • ‘They were tough, bony, slightly burnt and very difficult to eat.’
      • ‘Alewives have not seriously been exploited as a fishery in the Great Lakes since these are small and too bony to eat.’
      • ‘For the most part, bull sharks dine on bony fishes or smaller sharks - but they sometimes aggressively tackle much larger prey.’
      • ‘Their diet consists primarily of bony fishes and small sharks, including young bull sharks, but they have been known to feast on everything from seabirds to dogs.’
      • ‘But only eat sardines between May and October - they're too bony the rest of the year.’
    2. 1.2 (of a person or part of the body) so thin that the bones can be seen.
      ‘he held up his bony fingers’
      • ‘Leana turned her head to see the bony woman standing near them.’
      • ‘Dodd and Benton looked to the rear at the speaker, a small, bony man with a grizzled face that spoke of hard, long days in the saddle.’
      • ‘The small cup was shoved gently into her hands by the silent guy and then when she looked up again the bony man lay on the floor gripping his side in anguish.’
      • ‘Sure enough, an extremely tall and bony man descended from the spiral staircase to their right, dressed exquisitely in a solid black suit and tie.’
      • ‘The bony woman waved one gangly arm at another set of double doors that Sam hadn't noticed before.’
      • ‘In the crowded wards of African hospitals, coughs and bony bodies tell the story of a deadly return.’
      • ‘They worry that they're too bony, awkward, lanky or boyish.’
      • ‘She is very bony and slim; she is unhealthy skinny for being only twenty-eight.’
      • ‘One by one, shadowy, transparent figures of skinny, bony people appeared all around.’
      • ‘He was a bony child of twelve, wearing nothing but baggy trousers tied with rope and the bits on his wrists.’
      • ‘How else could I have hurt my knee if not from my impact against that bony body of yours?’
      • ‘One tall, bony girl pushed forward through the people around me.’
      • ‘Patten, a tall, bony man with a balding dome of a forehead, makes his living loaning money to ranchers.’
      • ‘For I wasn't even really there, just a bit of my mind was left in my bony body.’
      • ‘The girl had a slim, almost bony body that was even more obvious under the tight black trousers and tops.’
      • ‘Rags clung to a frail and bony body, one that did not look like it'd had any nourishment for quite some time.’
      • ‘She was bony and it was plain to see that she hadn't been eating regularly.’
      • ‘Dark marks ringed the boy's bony wrist, livid against pale flesh.’
      • ‘Without looking, Monty pointed a thin bony finger across the narrow inlet where soldiers were pulling a limp, but responding living human from the water.’
      • ‘Doctor Conrad wrapped his arms around the boy's bony body and held him as close as he would his own son.’
      gaunt, angular, hollow-cheeked, skinny, thin, thin as a rake, lean, spare, raw-boned, skin-and-bones, skeletal, cadaverous, size-zero
      View synonyms