Main definitions of bone in US English:

: bone1Bône2

bone1

noun

  • 1Any of the pieces of hard whitish tissue making up the skeleton in humans and other vertebrates.

    The substance of bones is formed by specialized cells (osteoblasts) that secrete around themselves a material containing calcium salts (which provide hardness and strength in compression) and collagen fibers (which provide tensile strength). Many bones have a central cavity containing marrow

    ‘his injuries included many broken bones’
    ‘a shoulder bone’
    • ‘The fact is, broken bones, or fractures, are common in childhood and often happen when kids are playing or participating in sports.’
    • ‘It gets even smaller if the bone and tissue around it grow.’
    • ‘In this condition, the spinal cord and the bones of the spinal column may fail to develop normally.’
    • ‘There are no fish bones in Norse archeological remains, Diamond concludes, for the simple reason that the Norse didn't eat fish.’
    • ‘Years ago we realized that if we combined all our accidents, there was hardly a bone in the human skeleton we hadn't broken.’
    • ‘Weightlifting is known to strengthen tissue, including muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons.’
    • ‘In addition to the embryos and eye, the fossil find includes portions of a snout plus jawbones, skull bones, cheekbones, and teeth.’
    • ‘The ligaments are tissues that connect the bones at the joints.’
    • ‘Bone marrow is found in soft fatty tissue inside bones, where red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are produced and developed.’
    • ‘Your spine is a long column of bones that stretch from the base of your skull to your tailbone.’
    • ‘They tried to give her a bone marrow transplant but her bones rejected every bone tissue that was given to her.’
    • ‘Direct injury to the spine may cause a bone fracture anywhere along your vertebral column.’
    • ‘Archaeologists have found the crushed remains of an amphora, a large ceramic jar, containing hundreds of fish bones.’
    • ‘Xrays easily pick out surgical tools and hard tissues such as bones.’
    • ‘These lesions may affect any organ system but most commonly occur in the skin, mucous membranes, and bones.’
    • ‘The spinal cord is protected by bones stacked one upon the other.’
    • ‘The spine is made up of many small bones called vertebrae.’
    • ‘Bone marrow is a spongy tissue inside certain bones of the body that produces blood cells.’
    • ‘Lifting weights strengthens the muscles, bones and connective tissue.’
    • ‘When the eardrum vibrates, tiny bones within the middle ear transmit the sound signals to the inner ear.’
    1. 1.1bones A person's body.
      ‘he hauled his tired bones upright’
      • ‘He lowered his aching bones to the floor after a harder day's work than he'd ever done.’
      • ‘I dragged my tired bones to the bathroom to shave.’
      • ‘Sighing, he pulled his weary bones to their feet and decided coffee was the best option.’
      body, figure, form, shape, physique, build, size, proportions
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2bones A corpse or skeleton.
      ‘the discovery of the bones of Richard III’
      ‘bones of prehistoric mammals’
      • ‘Just ahead, in the wider section of the pass, the dried bones and carcasses of men and pack animals lay strewn about.’
      • ‘The prefectural police told reporters the remains contained the bones of two persons.’
      • ‘But I'd still like to dig up the bones of the man who condemned it, and bang them together so hard his ghost gets a migraine.’
      • ‘Rampaging Christian knights and soldiers remove the bones of St John Chrysostom and St Gregory Nazianzen.’
      • ‘A spirit then gradually materialized from the bones of the long dead corpse.’
      • ‘In centuries past, graves would be exhumed, and any bones remaining would be collected and buried deeper down, thereby allowing fresh graves on top.’
      • ‘We are still unburying the bones, the remains, of the people who got killed.’
      • ‘Now, more than ever before, the study of battles will involve a literal trampling upon dead men's bones.’
      • ‘A mile to the south, in the glen of the Allt nan Uamh, the bones of prehistoric man were found in a series of caves.’
      • ‘Inside, an exhibition of pictures of mutilated corpses and glass cases containing the bones of the victims concludes with a visitors' book.’
      • ‘The post excavation procedure included the removal of all mud and adhering material from the bones and placing of the remains in a cabinet where they were allowed to dry out slowly.’
      • ‘It includes remains such as Aboriginal bones, regarded as stolen goods by Aborigine communities in Australia today.’
      corpse, dead body, body, cadaver, carcass
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A bone of an animal with meat on it, used as food for people or dogs.
      ‘dogs yelping over a bone’
      ‘stewed in stock made with a ham bone’
      • ‘It's easy to fillet and the bones make good stock.’
      • ‘Beef bones usually cost about $1 per pound and yield a rich stock.’
      • ‘What they actually think happened is that some animal had the bone in his or her burrow and just now decided to toss it.’
      • ‘With the bones of the pork chops, the shiitake mushrooms, and some left-over chicken stock, I also made a hot & sour soup.’
      • ‘Remove bones from tray and place in a large - 10 litre - stock pot.’
      • ‘So, I've already had to add more water to re-thin it to properly boil down the bones and meat.’
      • ‘I got him a package of big beef bones as a present, and he's been snacking quite happily on them every afternoon for the past few days.’
      • ‘Then she wouldn't be here with this idiot gnawing on chicken bones.’
      • ‘We first put about 5,697 pots of different cereals, lentils, meats, bones and spices on different pots to warm.’
  • 2The calcified material of which bones consist.

    ‘an earring of bone’
    • ‘The hilt was made of fine bone and ivory, carved into the shape of a dragon.’
    • ‘The caves at Creswell Crags are known to have been occupied in palaeolithic times because hunters left behind bone and flint stone tools.’
    • ‘My latest cut-down bone handled table knives have a near quadrant at the tip and cut unbelievably.’
    • ‘The material would be gradually replaced by healthy, newly grown bone and blood vessels.’
    • ‘However, in recent years he has turned his skill and artistry to the crafting of artefacts wrought from ancient native woods, bone, gold, bronze and steel.’
    • ‘This canoe-style knife measures 3.75 inches long, and has bone handles.’
    • ‘Fine details carved in boxwood, bone, ivory, brass and ebony.’
    • ‘Some Yoruba woodcarvers also work in bone, ivory, and stone.’
    • ‘Any suitable material may be used, including quill, parchment, wood, ivory, bone, horn, tortoiseshell, and plastic.’
    • ‘The spongy bone material was then used for DNA extraction.’
    • ‘‘You have to be confident to be able to distinguish ivory from bone, and new ivory from old,’ said Mr Judson.’
    • ‘This involves the use of ivory, bone, and pieces of wood to create geometric patterns.’
    • ‘In contrast, fossilized bone is believed to be completely mineralized, meaning no organics are present.’
    • ‘Ornaments and utensils in precious metals, bronze, bone and horn had also been uncovered.’
    • ‘Bears resorb their bone material during hibernation, but they constantly form new bone material as well.’
    • ‘Chinese dominoes are longer than Western ones and are divided into two types and were originally carved from bone or ivory with the indented pips made of ebony.’
    • ‘A cheaper and readily available material which is often passed off as ivory is bone.’
    • ‘‘Jacks date back to ancient Rome, when they were carved from ivory or bone,’ she says.’
    • ‘Bones are made up of two types of material - compact bone and cancellous bone.’
    • ‘My grandpa used to carry a big folding Stockman knife, with old fashioned bone handles and blades worn thin from sharpening.’
    1. 2.1 A substance similar to bone such as ivory, dentin, or whalebone.
      • ‘What's more, treasured wood was decorated with bone, jade, gold, bronze and shells adding to the value.’
      • ‘Mining activity has been a constant source of bone and ivory artifacts over the last several decades.’
      • ‘The earliest example of European poetry about a stranded whale is an Anglo-Saxon inscription on a whale bone casket of about 700 AD.’
      • ‘The conservation of bone artefacts mainly concerns objects made of ivory, camel bone, elephant tusks and horn.’
      • ‘A stylish box made from bone and accented in brass – both exotic and elegant.’
    2. 2.2often bones A thing made of, or once made of, such a substance, for example a pair of dice.
      • ‘The quality of the needlework, particularly around the bodice's bone inserts, makes this unlikely.’
      • ‘Farthingales sells corset supplies including bone casing tape for corset bones.’
    3. 2.3 The whitish color of bone.
      ‘the sandals she had dyed bone to match the small purse’
      • ‘The shower is available in white or bone.’
  • 3bonesThe basic or essential framework of something.

    ‘you need to put some flesh on the bones of your idea’
    • ‘As it turned out, it wasn't much, but it was enough to put a few scraps of meat on the bones of my suspicions.’
    • ‘It is a basic bare bones work on the battle of Chattanooga.’
    • ‘That's the basic bones of the argument, and there's lots of detail in and around it.’
    • ‘The bill sets out only the very bare bones of the framework on which the criteria for the process will be hung.’
    • ‘Under the new law, the government is given the task of issuing at least 12 regulations to put meat on the bones of the law.’
    • ‘Everything you need to know about who this man is can be summed up by the opening minutes of the interview that put meat on the bones of this article.’
  • 4vulgar slang A penis.

Main definitions of bone in US English:

: bone1Bône2

Bône2

proper noun

Phrases

  • close to (or near) the bone

    • 1(of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing hurt or discomfort.

      • ‘The plot for the movie cut close to the bone of reality.’
      • ‘I've no doubt it ruffled feathers in Charlestown at the time, it was so close to the bone.’
      • ‘This play is so insightful, cuts so close to the bone.’
      • ‘The movie cuts pretty close to the bone with characters who are less than likable and certainly less than redeeming.’
      • ‘It is a story all too believable, all to real and close to the bone for many living in rural Ireland.’
      • ‘What I like about Bill's take here is its combination of a temperate tone in a discussion that doesn't hesitate to cut close to the bone.’
      • ‘This list can go on and on, and hearing these stories cuts rather close to the bone: suffering is everywhere and also infinite in its variety.’
      • ‘Again, this is coming pretty close to the bone for me, having once had a double-glazed bedroom window smashed by a rock.’
      • ‘But it is so near the bone that it would make you weep.’
      • ‘The funny thing about that is that the film is about a man who gets into trouble for writing books that cut too close to the bone, other people's bones in this case.’
      • ‘As a fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian, I sometimes find your articles a bit close to the bone, but in fairness you reflect accurately the nature of the Internet.’
      • ‘I also saw a satirical film last night - quite close to the bone for the Minister, wasn't it?’
    • 2Destitute; hard up.

  • cut (or pare) something to the bone

    • Reduce something to the bare minimum.

      ‘costs will have to be cut to the bone’
      • ‘They want to cut the service to the bone and cut the best fire service in the world.’
      • ‘Add to that the fact that labor has been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘The concept is simple: cut operating costs to the bone and pass on the savings to customers.’
      • ‘However, premiums have been cut to the bone, and life companies are looking to improve their margins and profits.’
      • ‘Many firms are unable to think beyond cutting costs to the bone.’
      • ‘The only way to make it viable was to cut it to the bone.’
      • ‘All have cut their costs to the bone and many have diversified their businesses.’
      • ‘Exploration budgets were cut to the bone during the quiet years, and it takes upwards of seven years to bring a known deposit to production.’
      • ‘Health, education and welfare services have been cut to the bone to pay for the war and for huge financial incentives to investors.’
      • ‘Transport manifesto commitments have been pared to the bone.’
      • ‘We just managed to pay our way this year by cutting costs to the bone, but we will be in the red this year unless we do something about it.’
      • ‘On top of this long-term drop, consumers indulged themselves in the occasional periods in which prices were cut to the bone to drive competitors out of business.’
      • ‘To prevent the crash he cut rates to the bone and allowed consumers to fill the gap left by the collapse in manufacturing in the US.’
      • ‘Most have cut their expenses to the bone and the consumers are not prepared to pass on the price increases.’
      • ‘As usual, we had cut our military to the bone and had a standing army of less than 200,000.’
      • ‘Corporate planning, accounting, research, and technical staffs are cut to the bone, if not disbanded at corporate level.’
      • ‘By paring components to the bone, Martin showed that even the smallest urban space can be a haven of tranquillity.’
      • ‘Education, training, and rehabilitation programs have been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘So there is a war on, with each side cutting prices to the bone.’
      • ‘But, with hindsight, we can already see that the company achieved spectacular growth by cutting premiums to the bone, and possibly under-reserving.’
  • have a bone to pick with someone

    • informal Have reason to disagree or be annoyed with someone.

      • ‘I don't have any complaints on the movie, but I do have a bone to pick with the film studio.’
      • ‘I had a bone to pick with him during his comments, because he seemed to imply that a golf course was something great for the environment.’
      • ‘‘You know, I actually have a bone to pick with you about that,’ she said between bites.’
      • ‘It's not like she's had a bone to pick with her lately.’
      • ‘‘I have a bone to pick with you,’ I suddenly remembered, hitting him in the chest lightly, and totally ignoring his request.’
      • ‘The other passenger in the car, Lenny, has a bone to pick with Vince, because the latter got his daughter pregnant years before.’
      • ‘Perhaps I have always had a bone to pick with her because I believe that she stole my thunder.’
      • ‘Just make the horse move so much or else somebody is gonna have a bone to pick with you,’ I said.’
      • ‘Someone could have a bone to pick with you soon, and they'll lay it on thick as sauce.’
      • ‘And he said he's all ready for the interview, and I said to him, I have a bone to pick with you first.’
      • ‘I remembered something, ‘Drew, I have a bone to pick with you.’’
      • ‘He could be gruff and if he had a bone to pick with you, he picked it.’
      • ‘Father came into the kitchen, looking like he had a bone to pick with me, then skidded to a halt.’
      • ‘I don't have a bone to pick with them and vice versa.’
      • ‘What I'm getting at is that you seem have a bone to pick with me of late, and we should thrash it out before it becomes a problem.’
      • ‘Don Pedro tells Benedick that Beatrice has a bone to pick with him.’
      • ‘She didn't even have anything against those other guys, but she did have a bone to pick with Heero Yuy.’
      • ‘Looking at his father, Daniel recalled that he had a bone to pick with him.’
  • in one's bones

    • Felt, believed, or known deeply or instinctively.

      ‘something good was bound to happen; he could feel it in his bones’
      ‘he has rhythm in his bones’
      • ‘The magic is certainly there - you can feel it in your bones.’
      • ‘The Albanian people who make up a good part of our parish understood this in their bones; many of the Americans seemed not to.’
      • ‘Surely, when it is over you know it in your bones, and why would a manager have reason to thank you?’
      • ‘If we care deeply enough, if we feel it in our bones, then we won't take this sitting down.’
      • ‘You know how you get a feeling in your bones that everything's coming up roses?’
      • ‘We believe in our bones that what we are doing is the right thing.’
      • ‘Tocqueville understood this milieu in his bones.’
      • ‘You know, in your bones, that this is what you're supposed to be doing.’
      • ‘I said I felt in my bones that it would be different than after previous European trips.’
      • ‘Park status confirms what the locals already felt in their bones, that their home and environs are special places, worth getting excited about.’
      • ‘Deep in their bones and their hearts, they expect to win, an assumption borne of talent, experience, and mental toughness.’
      • ‘Russell said that he couldn't quite understand what Wittgenstein was saying, but he felt in his bones that he must be right.’
      • ‘If there's one thing about Native people, one thing we've always had in our bones,’ she says, ‘it's community.’’
      • ‘I could feel it in my bones that he was up against something stronger than his will and his prodigious intellect.’
      • ‘I always thought this war was a bad idea, right from the start I felt it deep in my bones.’
      • ‘You either feel it in your heart, in your bones, in your gut, or you don't.’
      • ‘Wood can no longer see him - but as an insurance man you cannot help but believe he felt the risk in his bones.’
      • ‘It's not something medical… I can just feel it in my bones, just instinct.’
      • ‘In the end, they will have to feel it in their bones and smell it in the air, finding the words that ring true.’
      • ‘But they know, in their bones so to speak, that there are no more Saladin-like saviors out there.’
  • make no bones about something

    • Have no hesitation in stating or dealing with something, however awkward or distasteful it is.

      ‘the film is an op-ed piece, and the director makes no bones about its biases’
      • ‘White made no bones about how they would seek to beat the Welsh yesterday.’
      • ‘And I make no bones about that or no apology for that.’
      • ‘Definitely not for the squeamish, the article makes no bones about where the responsibility for the massacre lay.’
      • ‘The solicitor told the court: ‘Her behaviour was dreadful and she makes no bones about that.’’
      • ‘Westwood has made no bones about how unprepared he was for the media attention which accompanied his early success.’
      • ‘He makes no bones about what others perceive as his abrasive manner.’
      • ‘A strange chemistry forms when the pair meets at the interview and Grey makes no bones about how boring the job will be.’
      • ‘The performance was disappointing, make no bones about that, and the 50-30 scoreline reflected Barrow's superiority on the day.’
      • ‘My parents were wonderful parents to me - make no bones about that - but I have no truck with the idea that in some sense society was better 40 or 50 years ago.’
      • ‘Labour is pragmatic in what it does, it makes no bones about that sometimes it will lean left sometimes right.’
      • ‘Here is a movie that makes no bones about what it is - a horror sequel that knows its place in line.’
      • ‘R.L. Trask makes no bones about what sort of world he thinks is beautiful, and to that sort of world he's a splendidly knowledgeable, thought-provoking guide.’
      • ‘For starters, I liked April Fool's Day because the film makes no bones about what it is.’
      • ‘I feel we have some good referees and I make no bones about that but I'm not so sure we have that many good assistant referees.’
      • ‘‘She makes no bones about not liking journalists,’ says one.’
      • ‘And his wife made no bones about why she ran off to France with their son, Eddie.’
      • ‘She is proud of her unusual occupation and appears to make no bones about who knows it.’
      • ‘‘We knew that there would be tickets available every day and we made no bones about that,’ he said.’
      • ‘Well, we do pay for exclusive information and documents, and we make no bones about that, as long as we can verify it's true.’
      • ‘So the making of this documentary was clearly a journey of discovery for Moore himself, who makes no bones about not having the answers.’
  • to the bone

    • 1(of a wound) so deep as to expose a person's bone.

      ‘his thigh had been axed open to the bone’
      figurative ‘his contempt cut her to the bone’
      • ‘I walked back to my house and my arm was open down to the bone.’
      • ‘Albion's shoulder was cut to the bone, but besides a few bruises and scratches, the trio was unhurt.’
      • ‘A teenager who cut a former friend's arm to the bone with an axe during a street fight was warned he faces being locked up.’
      • ‘This time the ankle was cut through to the bone and Scales had to have internal and external stitches inserted to repair the damage.’
      • ‘He also inflicted deep cuts to his face, on one occasion scoring the bridge of his nose so severely that he cut it down to the bone.’
      • ‘An accidental challenge by the Newcastle defender slit his knee open to the bone, necessitated 38 stitches and forced him to the sidelines for two months.’
      • ‘His shoulder is cut to the bone, and he is flung to the wall.’
      • ‘And it cuts us to the bone when people dismiss our musings as the products of ego and petty hatreds.’
      • ‘She did not wince as blades sunk deeper to the bone.’
      • ‘She ran into a fence and the sharp wire cut to the bone.’
      • ‘But his wit is more likely to scratch than cut to the bone.’
      • ‘It caught Maiden square beneath the jaw, cutting to the bone.’
      • ‘No, it's too steep for me, especially after Clarence had his leg cut to the bone in a rock slide.’
      • ‘They can be superficial or very deep, extending to the bone.’
      • ‘David Sanborn's alto saxophone caresses the flesh as it cuts to the bone.’
      • ‘It was a deep wound, not quite to the bone but not just skin either.’
      • ‘The wound went straight to the bone; she could see a sliver of white among the blood whenever she painfully flexed her fingers.’
      • ‘After breakfast I would go to the house matron who would paint ghastly looking stuff on my chilblains which were open almost to the bone.’
      • ‘One of the operations was to repair his left hand and stitch up stab wounds, which cut through to the bone.’
      • ‘Jessie felt drained, the bickering with Phoebe had cut her to the bone.’
      1. 1.1(especially of cold) affecting a person in a penetrating way.
        ‘chilled to the bone’
        • ‘Her entire body was stiff and sore, and she was cold to the bone.’
        • ‘The room seemed to have lost all its warmth and the torch's fire seemed to be diffusing only cold, chilling to the bone.’
        • ‘Neko woke up, freezing cold, soaked to the bone with sweat.’
        • ‘She noticed people running from the other end of the school, they were soaking wet, deep down to the bone.’
        • ‘The blue-green sky of Pomen was partly cloudy, and although the afternoon sun tried to warm the proceedings below, it was a cold day that chilled to the bone.’
    • 2Used to emphasize that a person has a specified quality in an overwhelming or fundamental way.

      ‘she's a New Englander to her bones’
      ‘he's a cop to the bone’
      • ‘Shaunelle Curry is a teacher through to her bones.’
      • ‘Jeremiah was a patriot down to his bones and wrote an entire book lamenting the fall of his nation.’
      • ‘A civil servant to his bones, he is also diplomatic because he thinks the fight against climate change needs long-term support from all sides of politics.’
      • ‘But, anyone who thinks that careerist social climbers aren't liberals to their bones just doesn't know what he's talking about.’
      • ‘He knew that she was Indian to her bones, and he knew that even after her death her soul would linger, waiting for a glimpse of her son.’
      • ‘Rhenisch, a poet to his bones, is a new world essayist with an old world sensibility.’
      • ‘She was from an upper-class background and although she was a shrewd political player, Mrs. Randolph was also a Southern lady to her bones.’
      • ‘A salesman down to his bones, he took to selling stock, especially penny stocks.’
      • ‘He would not, however, feel any divided loyalties were his team to come up against Italy in the knock-out stages of the finals in Greece: ‘I am Australian to my bones.’’
      • ‘Although he is a Democrat to his bones, he has disarmed Republicans.’
  • what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh (or blood)

    • proverb A person's behavior or characteristics are determined by heredity.

      • ‘What's bred in the bone will out in the flesh, the saying goes.’
      • ‘I guess what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh, as they say.’
      • ‘Maybe it true, ‘what's bred in the bone will not out in the flesh’ or maybe I am completely misinterpreting literature, as usual.’
      • ‘Because what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh, and we should never forget it.’
      • ‘As the saying goes, ‘what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh!’’
  • work one's fingers to the bone

    • Work very hard.

      ‘Tracy can work her fingers to the bone, but it's Ms. Green who gets the thanks’
      • ‘There are people working their fingers to the bone every day for less than this proposed salary.’
      • ‘We are working our fingers to the bone to try and rescue our comrades, but at the moment we have yet to locate where their screams were coming from.’
      • ‘His mom, who is kind and good and true, works her fingers to the bone, running the inn.’
      • ‘In India, some kids are forced to toil in cotton fields while others work their fingers to the bone weaving silk.’
      • ‘I've worked my fingers to the bone, cleaning, organizing and even releasing to the trash bin things I no longer need.’
      • ‘She makes her grandson Shiro work his fingers to the bone to keep this place in top shape, and then tricks the neighborhood kids into doing the rest.’
      • ‘It was just the 5th movement that had lately been keeping her up all night, working her fingers to the bone.’
      • ‘The man she had hated so was the man she worked her fingers to the bone to save.’
      • ‘I work my fingers to the bone, and get precious little gratitude for it, and all you can do is treat me like some glorified gofer who's wet behind the ears?’
      • ‘‘We lived in a tiny little flat, and had no money, and my mother had to work her fingers to the bone,’ Carol says.’
      work hard, labour, work one's fingers to the bone, work like a trojan, work like a dog, work day and night, exert oneself, keep at it, keep one's nose to the grindstone, grind away, slave away, grub away, plough away, plod away
      View synonyms
  • a bone of contention

    • A subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement.

      ‘the examination system has long been a serious bone of contention’
      • ‘Race relations in the USA continue to be a hot topic and a bone of contention for many American writers.’
      • ‘The issue has become a serious bone of contention between the union and the management.’
      • ‘Bonus payments have a nasty habit of being bones of contention in the football domain.’
      • ‘Sometime ago, the first point was a serious bone of contention with some opponents of Australian government policy on East Timor.’
      • ‘This has been a bone of contention for many years and I am sure it will continue to be so for many more.’
      • ‘School prizes have always been bones of contention.’
      • ‘The issue has been a bone of contention for several years between Mid West farmers and State Government authorities.’
      • ‘However, the latter is the main bone of contention in this argument.’
      • ‘Control of the few viable roads is another bone of contention among various warlords who exercise their authority by blocking delivery of aid items.’
      • ‘Road safety and pollution issues were the main bones of contention, with frequent tailbacks of lorries billowing fumes into people's homes, he said.’
      • ‘Bank charges are a continual bone of contention between bankers and depositors.’
      • ‘The city's educational system continues to be a bone of contention for Burns and other residents.’
      • ‘This was a bone of contention with residents and business owners.’
      • ‘The community group said although they are no strangers to the struggle for technology, equality remains a major bone of contention.’
      • ‘This matter has always been a bone of contention with councillors but on this occasion no one objected to the proposal by council management.’
      • ‘In the last century the same conflicts led to the First World War and continued to be a bone of contention throughout the Second.’
      • ‘Footwear, even for the five-year-olds, can be a serious bone of contention within families at this time of year.’
      • ‘The zebra crossing outside the library in Pickwick Road, Corsham, has been a serious bone of contention among residents for a number of years.’
      • ‘Since its completion, the new pier has been a bone of contention with tour boat operators over the issue of safety in mooring their boats.’
      • ‘Their two Schnauzers were the original bones of contention.’
      matter, matter in question, affair, business, subject, topic, question, point, point at issue, item, thing, case, concern, theme
      View synonyms
  • have not a — bone in one's body

    • (of a person) have not the slightest trace of the specified quality.

      ‘there's not a conservative bone in his body’
      • ‘Charlotte claims Katie was never interested in either her or her siblings and the mother-of-two ‘doesn't have a maternal bone in her body’.’
      • ‘I know that he doesn't have a judgemental bone in his body.’
      • ‘It doesn't matter if you haven't got an artistic bone in your body, we can show you very simple ways to achieve a masterpiece!’
      • ‘I just do want to stress that we didn't have a political bone in our body.’
      • ‘Darren is not a racist - he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.’
  • throw a bone to

    • Give someone only a token concession.

      ‘was the true purpose of the minimum wage hike to throw a bone to the unions?’
      • ‘Why not target middle incomes and throw a bone to low incomes with an occasional promotion?’
      • ‘And I believe that his policies sometimes reflect a political need to throw a bone to that constituency to keep them happy.’
      • ‘What you see here is a case where the campaign felt they could throw a bone to the conservatives.’
      • ‘I would like to point out, if you read the next paragraph in the judge's finding, he seemed to throw a bone to each side.’
      • ‘The company has decided to throw viewers a few bones by tacking on a couple of extra features to this disc.’
      • ‘Finally, Lady Luck threw him a bone.’
      • ‘So I still think it's worthwhile to throw a bone to the staid investment class.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's nice when life throws you a bone.’
      • ‘The new regime has thrown him a bone of sorts: convenorship of the health committee.’
      • ‘I bet this was already obsolete in design and technology some years back, and they wanted to throw a bone to the public.’

Origin

Old English bān, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch been and German Bein.

Pronunciation

Bône

/boʊn//bōn/

verb

  • 1with object Remove the bones from (meat or fish)

    ‘while the gumbo is simmering, bone the cooked chicken’
    • ‘Clean and bone the fish, leaving their heads in place.’
    • ‘The school's culinary dean recalls being hung from a meat hook for improperly boning veal during one of his 14-hour days as an apprentice in 1949 Germany.’
    • ‘All biologists should eat kippers because it is quite impossible to bone one without thinking about development.’
    • ‘In recent years, although the name has almost disappeared, many butcher shops and supermarkets still sell boned shoulders of lamb complete with stuffing.’
    • ‘Head butcher Paul Nicholson helped to choose the birds and bone the smaller ones before they could be stuffed inside the turkey.’
    • ‘Have the turkey thighs boned and skinned at the meat market.’
    • ‘Unless you are a dab-hand with the boning knife, ask the butcher to bone the chicken legs for you.’
    • ‘It is then boned and the meat is allowed to ‘age’ or mature for up to 14 days.’’
  • 2bone up oninformal no object Study (a subject) intensively, typically in preparation for something.

    ‘she boned up on languages she had learned long ago and went back to New Guinea’
    • ‘Anyway, I've boned up on it overnight, and I'm sad to report that the NT's proposed laws are a bit of a disappointment.’
    • ‘So I'm finally doing some actual academic reading for my ‘Reading Elective,’ trying to bone up on some anesthesia basics before I switch residencies in July.’
    • ‘Some of them may have put more effort into interpersonal skills than the graduate who has been boning up on portfolio optimisation and office politics.’
    • ‘Unless you're willing to bone up on the subject, you're better off to assess his technical ability by asking for references and checking them out.’
    • ‘And it's just as well that she had boned up on Treasure Island - the only book she appears to have read - as it seems to have impressed the judges.’
    • ‘There's nothing like a stroll immediately before an interview for a spot of last minute boning up on your subject.’
    • ‘In preparation, I began to bone up on my cooking skills, already a hobby of mine, and pored over What to Expect When You're Expecting.’
    • ‘Anyone who thinks these people play anything remotely original needs to bone up on their musicology.’
    • ‘She turned her love of the jungle into yet another career, by boning up on African bird life in order to take visitors on horseback birding safaris.’
    • ‘She's probably already boning up on the biography of Nelson Mandela.’
    • ‘Those firms which bone up on the latest thinking will reap the benefits.’
    • ‘Each actor studied their real-life counterpart, boning up on their life stories to get a keener, truer sense of how they would have behaved and talked.’
    • ‘I've allowed myself to get lazy about following what's going on nationally and I've got to bone up on a lot of stuff.’
    • ‘This stuff was actually quite easy after I boned up on my HTML.’
    • ‘To bone up on the subject, he read the works of a professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose area of research was deceptive political advertising.’
    • ‘So if you are wondering about what to bone up on if you want to be a security screener don't ask me.’
    • ‘I have many things to do, including boning up on current events - I'm auditioning for a spot on a quiz show tomorrow, and I don't want to make a fool of myself.’
    • ‘I've noticed that a lot of the nicer websites are incorporating cascading style sheets so I've spent the past couple of days boning up on how to use them.’
    • ‘So where - and how - are young voters boning up on issues and ideas?’
    • ‘Now in order to do my job properly, I had to bone up on what was required when giving a professional opinion about a document.’
    go over, reread, run through, study, memorize
    View synonyms
  • 3US vulgar slang with object (of a man) have sexual intercourse with (someone).

Phrases

  • close to (or near) the bone

    • 1(of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing hurt or discomfort.

      • ‘The plot for the movie cut close to the bone of reality.’
      • ‘I've no doubt it ruffled feathers in Charlestown at the time, it was so close to the bone.’
      • ‘This play is so insightful, cuts so close to the bone.’
      • ‘The movie cuts pretty close to the bone with characters who are less than likable and certainly less than redeeming.’
      • ‘It is a story all too believable, all to real and close to the bone for many living in rural Ireland.’
      • ‘What I like about Bill's take here is its combination of a temperate tone in a discussion that doesn't hesitate to cut close to the bone.’
      • ‘This list can go on and on, and hearing these stories cuts rather close to the bone: suffering is everywhere and also infinite in its variety.’
      • ‘Again, this is coming pretty close to the bone for me, having once had a double-glazed bedroom window smashed by a rock.’
      • ‘But it is so near the bone that it would make you weep.’
      • ‘The funny thing about that is that the film is about a man who gets into trouble for writing books that cut too close to the bone, other people's bones in this case.’
      • ‘As a fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian, I sometimes find your articles a bit close to the bone, but in fairness you reflect accurately the nature of the Internet.’
      • ‘I also saw a satirical film last night - quite close to the bone for the Minister, wasn't it?’
    • 2Destitute; hard up.

  • cut (or pare) something to the bone

    • Reduce something to the bare minimum.

      ‘costs will have to be cut to the bone’
      • ‘They want to cut the service to the bone and cut the best fire service in the world.’
      • ‘Add to that the fact that labor has been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘The concept is simple: cut operating costs to the bone and pass on the savings to customers.’
      • ‘However, premiums have been cut to the bone, and life companies are looking to improve their margins and profits.’
      • ‘Many firms are unable to think beyond cutting costs to the bone.’
      • ‘The only way to make it viable was to cut it to the bone.’
      • ‘All have cut their costs to the bone and many have diversified their businesses.’
      • ‘Exploration budgets were cut to the bone during the quiet years, and it takes upwards of seven years to bring a known deposit to production.’
      • ‘Health, education and welfare services have been cut to the bone to pay for the war and for huge financial incentives to investors.’
      • ‘Transport manifesto commitments have been pared to the bone.’
      • ‘We just managed to pay our way this year by cutting costs to the bone, but we will be in the red this year unless we do something about it.’
      • ‘On top of this long-term drop, consumers indulged themselves in the occasional periods in which prices were cut to the bone to drive competitors out of business.’
      • ‘To prevent the crash he cut rates to the bone and allowed consumers to fill the gap left by the collapse in manufacturing in the US.’
      • ‘Most have cut their expenses to the bone and the consumers are not prepared to pass on the price increases.’
      • ‘As usual, we had cut our military to the bone and had a standing army of less than 200,000.’
      • ‘Corporate planning, accounting, research, and technical staffs are cut to the bone, if not disbanded at corporate level.’
      • ‘By paring components to the bone, Martin showed that even the smallest urban space can be a haven of tranquillity.’
      • ‘Education, training, and rehabilitation programs have been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘So there is a war on, with each side cutting prices to the bone.’
      • ‘But, with hindsight, we can already see that the company achieved spectacular growth by cutting premiums to the bone, and possibly under-reserving.’
  • have a bone to pick with someone

    • informal Have reason to disagree or be annoyed with someone.

      • ‘I don't have any complaints on the movie, but I do have a bone to pick with the film studio.’
      • ‘I had a bone to pick with him during his comments, because he seemed to imply that a golf course was something great for the environment.’
      • ‘‘You know, I actually have a bone to pick with you about that,’ she said between bites.’
      • ‘It's not like she's had a bone to pick with her lately.’
      • ‘‘I have a bone to pick with you,’ I suddenly remembered, hitting him in the chest lightly, and totally ignoring his request.’
      • ‘The other passenger in the car, Lenny, has a bone to pick with Vince, because the latter got his daughter pregnant years before.’
      • ‘Perhaps I have always had a bone to pick with her because I believe that she stole my thunder.’
      • ‘Just make the horse move so much or else somebody is gonna have a bone to pick with you,’ I said.’
      • ‘Someone could have a bone to pick with you soon, and they'll lay it on thick as sauce.’
      • ‘And he said he's all ready for the interview, and I said to him, I have a bone to pick with you first.’
      • ‘I remembered something, ‘Drew, I have a bone to pick with you.’’
      • ‘He could be gruff and if he had a bone to pick with you, he picked it.’
      • ‘Father came into the kitchen, looking like he had a bone to pick with me, then skidded to a halt.’
      • ‘I don't have a bone to pick with them and vice versa.’
      • ‘What I'm getting at is that you seem have a bone to pick with me of late, and we should thrash it out before it becomes a problem.’
      • ‘Don Pedro tells Benedick that Beatrice has a bone to pick with him.’
      • ‘She didn't even have anything against those other guys, but she did have a bone to pick with Heero Yuy.’
      • ‘Looking at his father, Daniel recalled that he had a bone to pick with him.’
  • in one's bones

    • Felt, believed, or known deeply or instinctively.

      ‘something good was bound to happen; he could feel it in his bones’
      ‘he has rhythm in his bones’
      • ‘The magic is certainly there - you can feel it in your bones.’
      • ‘The Albanian people who make up a good part of our parish understood this in their bones; many of the Americans seemed not to.’
      • ‘Surely, when it is over you know it in your bones, and why would a manager have reason to thank you?’
      • ‘If we care deeply enough, if we feel it in our bones, then we won't take this sitting down.’
      • ‘You know how you get a feeling in your bones that everything's coming up roses?’
      • ‘We believe in our bones that what we are doing is the right thing.’
      • ‘Tocqueville understood this milieu in his bones.’
      • ‘You know, in your bones, that this is what you're supposed to be doing.’
      • ‘I said I felt in my bones that it would be different than after previous European trips.’
      • ‘Park status confirms what the locals already felt in their bones, that their home and environs are special places, worth getting excited about.’
      • ‘Deep in their bones and their hearts, they expect to win, an assumption borne of talent, experience, and mental toughness.’
      • ‘Russell said that he couldn't quite understand what Wittgenstein was saying, but he felt in his bones that he must be right.’
      • ‘If there's one thing about Native people, one thing we've always had in our bones,’ she says, ‘it's community.’’
      • ‘I could feel it in my bones that he was up against something stronger than his will and his prodigious intellect.’
      • ‘I always thought this war was a bad idea, right from the start I felt it deep in my bones.’
      • ‘You either feel it in your heart, in your bones, in your gut, or you don't.’
      • ‘Wood can no longer see him - but as an insurance man you cannot help but believe he felt the risk in his bones.’
      • ‘It's not something medical… I can just feel it in my bones, just instinct.’
      • ‘In the end, they will have to feel it in their bones and smell it in the air, finding the words that ring true.’
      • ‘But they know, in their bones so to speak, that there are no more Saladin-like saviors out there.’
  • make no bones about something

    • Have no hesitation in stating or dealing with something, however awkward or distasteful it is.

      ‘the film is an op-ed piece, and the director makes no bones about its biases’
      • ‘White made no bones about how they would seek to beat the Welsh yesterday.’
      • ‘And I make no bones about that or no apology for that.’
      • ‘Definitely not for the squeamish, the article makes no bones about where the responsibility for the massacre lay.’
      • ‘The solicitor told the court: ‘Her behaviour was dreadful and she makes no bones about that.’’
      • ‘Westwood has made no bones about how unprepared he was for the media attention which accompanied his early success.’
      • ‘He makes no bones about what others perceive as his abrasive manner.’
      • ‘A strange chemistry forms when the pair meets at the interview and Grey makes no bones about how boring the job will be.’
      • ‘The performance was disappointing, make no bones about that, and the 50-30 scoreline reflected Barrow's superiority on the day.’
      • ‘My parents were wonderful parents to me - make no bones about that - but I have no truck with the idea that in some sense society was better 40 or 50 years ago.’
      • ‘Labour is pragmatic in what it does, it makes no bones about that sometimes it will lean left sometimes right.’
      • ‘Here is a movie that makes no bones about what it is - a horror sequel that knows its place in line.’
      • ‘R.L. Trask makes no bones about what sort of world he thinks is beautiful, and to that sort of world he's a splendidly knowledgeable, thought-provoking guide.’
      • ‘For starters, I liked April Fool's Day because the film makes no bones about what it is.’
      • ‘I feel we have some good referees and I make no bones about that but I'm not so sure we have that many good assistant referees.’
      • ‘‘She makes no bones about not liking journalists,’ says one.’
      • ‘And his wife made no bones about why she ran off to France with their son, Eddie.’
      • ‘She is proud of her unusual occupation and appears to make no bones about who knows it.’
      • ‘‘We knew that there would be tickets available every day and we made no bones about that,’ he said.’
      • ‘Well, we do pay for exclusive information and documents, and we make no bones about that, as long as we can verify it's true.’
      • ‘So the making of this documentary was clearly a journey of discovery for Moore himself, who makes no bones about not having the answers.’
  • to the bone

    • 1(of a wound) so deep as to expose a person's bone.

      ‘his thigh had been axed open to the bone’
      figurative ‘his contempt cut her to the bone’
      • ‘I walked back to my house and my arm was open down to the bone.’
      • ‘Albion's shoulder was cut to the bone, but besides a few bruises and scratches, the trio was unhurt.’
      • ‘A teenager who cut a former friend's arm to the bone with an axe during a street fight was warned he faces being locked up.’
      • ‘This time the ankle was cut through to the bone and Scales had to have internal and external stitches inserted to repair the damage.’
      • ‘He also inflicted deep cuts to his face, on one occasion scoring the bridge of his nose so severely that he cut it down to the bone.’
      • ‘An accidental challenge by the Newcastle defender slit his knee open to the bone, necessitated 38 stitches and forced him to the sidelines for two months.’
      • ‘His shoulder is cut to the bone, and he is flung to the wall.’
      • ‘And it cuts us to the bone when people dismiss our musings as the products of ego and petty hatreds.’
      • ‘She did not wince as blades sunk deeper to the bone.’
      • ‘She ran into a fence and the sharp wire cut to the bone.’
      • ‘But his wit is more likely to scratch than cut to the bone.’
      • ‘It caught Maiden square beneath the jaw, cutting to the bone.’
      • ‘No, it's too steep for me, especially after Clarence had his leg cut to the bone in a rock slide.’
      • ‘They can be superficial or very deep, extending to the bone.’
      • ‘David Sanborn's alto saxophone caresses the flesh as it cuts to the bone.’
      • ‘It was a deep wound, not quite to the bone but not just skin either.’
      • ‘The wound went straight to the bone; she could see a sliver of white among the blood whenever she painfully flexed her fingers.’
      • ‘After breakfast I would go to the house matron who would paint ghastly looking stuff on my chilblains which were open almost to the bone.’
      • ‘One of the operations was to repair his left hand and stitch up stab wounds, which cut through to the bone.’
      • ‘Jessie felt drained, the bickering with Phoebe had cut her to the bone.’
      1. 1.1(especially of cold) affecting a person in a penetrating way.
        ‘chilled to the bone’
        • ‘Her entire body was stiff and sore, and she was cold to the bone.’
        • ‘The room seemed to have lost all its warmth and the torch's fire seemed to be diffusing only cold, chilling to the bone.’
        • ‘Neko woke up, freezing cold, soaked to the bone with sweat.’
        • ‘She noticed people running from the other end of the school, they were soaking wet, deep down to the bone.’
        • ‘The blue-green sky of Pomen was partly cloudy, and although the afternoon sun tried to warm the proceedings below, it was a cold day that chilled to the bone.’
    • 2Used to emphasize that a person has a specified quality in an overwhelming or fundamental way.

      ‘she's a New Englander to her bones’
      ‘he's a cop to the bone’
      • ‘Shaunelle Curry is a teacher through to her bones.’
      • ‘Jeremiah was a patriot down to his bones and wrote an entire book lamenting the fall of his nation.’
      • ‘A civil servant to his bones, he is also diplomatic because he thinks the fight against climate change needs long-term support from all sides of politics.’
      • ‘But, anyone who thinks that careerist social climbers aren't liberals to their bones just doesn't know what he's talking about.’
      • ‘He knew that she was Indian to her bones, and he knew that even after her death her soul would linger, waiting for a glimpse of her son.’
      • ‘Rhenisch, a poet to his bones, is a new world essayist with an old world sensibility.’
      • ‘She was from an upper-class background and although she was a shrewd political player, Mrs. Randolph was also a Southern lady to her bones.’
      • ‘A salesman down to his bones, he took to selling stock, especially penny stocks.’
      • ‘He would not, however, feel any divided loyalties were his team to come up against Italy in the knock-out stages of the finals in Greece: ‘I am Australian to my bones.’’
      • ‘Although he is a Democrat to his bones, he has disarmed Republicans.’
  • what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh (or blood)

    • proverb A person's behavior or characteristics are determined by heredity.

      • ‘What's bred in the bone will out in the flesh, the saying goes.’
      • ‘I guess what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh, as they say.’
      • ‘Maybe it true, ‘what's bred in the bone will not out in the flesh’ or maybe I am completely misinterpreting literature, as usual.’
      • ‘Because what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh, and we should never forget it.’
      • ‘As the saying goes, ‘what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh!’’
  • work one's fingers to the bone

    • Work very hard.

      ‘Tracy can work her fingers to the bone, but it's Ms. Green who gets the thanks’
      • ‘There are people working their fingers to the bone every day for less than this proposed salary.’
      • ‘We are working our fingers to the bone to try and rescue our comrades, but at the moment we have yet to locate where their screams were coming from.’
      • ‘His mom, who is kind and good and true, works her fingers to the bone, running the inn.’
      • ‘In India, some kids are forced to toil in cotton fields while others work their fingers to the bone weaving silk.’
      • ‘I've worked my fingers to the bone, cleaning, organizing and even releasing to the trash bin things I no longer need.’
      • ‘She makes her grandson Shiro work his fingers to the bone to keep this place in top shape, and then tricks the neighborhood kids into doing the rest.’
      • ‘It was just the 5th movement that had lately been keeping her up all night, working her fingers to the bone.’
      • ‘The man she had hated so was the man she worked her fingers to the bone to save.’
      • ‘I work my fingers to the bone, and get precious little gratitude for it, and all you can do is treat me like some glorified gofer who's wet behind the ears?’
      • ‘‘We lived in a tiny little flat, and had no money, and my mother had to work her fingers to the bone,’ Carol says.’
      work hard, labour, work one's fingers to the bone, work like a trojan, work like a dog, work day and night, exert oneself, keep at it, keep one's nose to the grindstone, grind away, slave away, grub away, plough away, plod away
      View synonyms
  • a bone of contention

    • A subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement.

      ‘the examination system has long been a serious bone of contention’
      • ‘Race relations in the USA continue to be a hot topic and a bone of contention for many American writers.’
      • ‘The issue has become a serious bone of contention between the union and the management.’
      • ‘Bonus payments have a nasty habit of being bones of contention in the football domain.’
      • ‘Sometime ago, the first point was a serious bone of contention with some opponents of Australian government policy on East Timor.’
      • ‘This has been a bone of contention for many years and I am sure it will continue to be so for many more.’
      • ‘School prizes have always been bones of contention.’
      • ‘The issue has been a bone of contention for several years between Mid West farmers and State Government authorities.’
      • ‘However, the latter is the main bone of contention in this argument.’
      • ‘Control of the few viable roads is another bone of contention among various warlords who exercise their authority by blocking delivery of aid items.’
      • ‘Road safety and pollution issues were the main bones of contention, with frequent tailbacks of lorries billowing fumes into people's homes, he said.’
      • ‘Bank charges are a continual bone of contention between bankers and depositors.’
      • ‘The city's educational system continues to be a bone of contention for Burns and other residents.’
      • ‘This was a bone of contention with residents and business owners.’
      • ‘The community group said although they are no strangers to the struggle for technology, equality remains a major bone of contention.’
      • ‘This matter has always been a bone of contention with councillors but on this occasion no one objected to the proposal by council management.’
      • ‘In the last century the same conflicts led to the First World War and continued to be a bone of contention throughout the Second.’
      • ‘Footwear, even for the five-year-olds, can be a serious bone of contention within families at this time of year.’
      • ‘The zebra crossing outside the library in Pickwick Road, Corsham, has been a serious bone of contention among residents for a number of years.’
      • ‘Since its completion, the new pier has been a bone of contention with tour boat operators over the issue of safety in mooring their boats.’
      • ‘Their two Schnauzers were the original bones of contention.’
      matter, matter in question, affair, business, subject, topic, question, point, point at issue, item, thing, case, concern, theme
      View synonyms
  • have not a — bone in one's body

    • (of a person) have not the slightest trace of the specified quality.

      ‘there's not a conservative bone in his body’
      • ‘Charlotte claims Katie was never interested in either her or her siblings and the mother-of-two ‘doesn't have a maternal bone in her body’.’
      • ‘I know that he doesn't have a judgemental bone in his body.’
      • ‘It doesn't matter if you haven't got an artistic bone in your body, we can show you very simple ways to achieve a masterpiece!’
      • ‘I just do want to stress that we didn't have a political bone in our body.’
      • ‘Darren is not a racist - he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.’
  • throw a bone to

    • Give someone only a token concession.

      ‘was the true purpose of the minimum wage hike to throw a bone to the unions?’
      • ‘Why not target middle incomes and throw a bone to low incomes with an occasional promotion?’
      • ‘And I believe that his policies sometimes reflect a political need to throw a bone to that constituency to keep them happy.’
      • ‘What you see here is a case where the campaign felt they could throw a bone to the conservatives.’
      • ‘I would like to point out, if you read the next paragraph in the judge's finding, he seemed to throw a bone to each side.’
      • ‘The company has decided to throw viewers a few bones by tacking on a couple of extra features to this disc.’
      • ‘Finally, Lady Luck threw him a bone.’
      • ‘So I still think it's worthwhile to throw a bone to the staid investment class.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's nice when life throws you a bone.’
      • ‘The new regime has thrown him a bone of sorts: convenorship of the health committee.’
      • ‘I bet this was already obsolete in design and technology some years back, and they wanted to throw a bone to the public.’