Main definitions of bone in English

: bone1Bône2

bone1

noun

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

    ‘his injuries included many broken bones’
    ‘a shoulder bone’
    • ‘There are no fish bones in Norse archeological remains, Diamond concludes, for the simple reason that the Norse didn't eat fish.’
    • ‘Lifting weights strengthens the muscles, bones and connective tissue.’
    • ‘They tried to give her a bone marrow transplant but her bones rejected every bone tissue that was given to her.’
    • ‘The fact is, broken bones, or fractures, are common in childhood and often happen when kids are playing or participating in sports.’
    • ‘The ligaments are tissues that connect the bones at the joints.’
    • ‘When the eardrum vibrates, tiny bones within the middle ear transmit the sound signals to the inner ear.’
    • ‘In this condition, the spinal cord and the bones of the spinal column may fail to develop normally.’
    • ‘These lesions may affect any organ system but most commonly occur in the skin, mucous membranes, and bones.’
    • ‘Your spine is a long column of bones that stretch from the base of your skull to your tailbone.’
    • ‘Xrays easily pick out surgical tools and hard tissues such as bones.’
    • ‘Direct injury to the spine may cause a bone fracture anywhere along your vertebral column.’
    • ‘It gets even smaller if the bone and tissue around it grow.’
    • ‘Years ago we realized that if we combined all our accidents, there was hardly a bone in the human skeleton we hadn't broken.’
    • ‘Archaeologists have found the crushed remains of an amphora, a large ceramic jar, containing hundreds of fish bones.’
    • ‘In addition to the embryos and eye, the fossil find includes portions of a snout plus jawbones, skull bones, cheekbones, and teeth.’
    • ‘The spine is made up of many small bones called vertebrae.’
    • ‘The spinal cord is protected by bones stacked one upon the other.’
    • ‘Bone marrow is found in soft fatty tissue inside bones, where red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are produced and developed.’
    • ‘Bone marrow is a spongy tissue inside certain bones of the body that produces blood cells.’
    • ‘Weightlifting is known to strengthen tissue, including muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons.’
    1. 1.1bones A person's body.
      ‘he hauled his tired bones upright’
      • ‘Sighing, he pulled his weary bones to their feet and decided coffee was the best option.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just ahead, in the wider section of the pass, the dried bones and carcasses of men and pack animals lay strewn about.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now, more than ever before, the study of battles will involve a literal trampling upon dead men's bones.’
      • ‘We are still unburying the bones, the remains, of the people who got killed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It includes remains such as Aboriginal bones, regarded as stolen goods by Aborigine communities in Australia today.’
      • ‘The prefectural police told reporters the remains contained the bones of two persons.’
      • ‘In centuries past, graves would be exhumed, and any bones remaining would be collected and buried deeper down, thereby allowing fresh graves on top.’
      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’
      • ‘Remove bones from tray and place in a large - 10 litre - stock pot.’
      • ‘We first put about 5,697 pots of different cereals, lentils, meats, bones and spices on different pots to warm.’
      • ‘Beef bones usually cost about $1 per pound and yield a rich stock.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What they actually think happened is that some animal had the bone in his or her burrow and just now decided to toss it.’
      • ‘So, I've already had to add more water to re-thin it to properly boil down the bones and meat.’
      • ‘It's easy to fillet and the bones make good stock.’
      • ‘With the bones of the pork chops, the shiitake mushrooms, and some left-over chicken stock, I also made a hot & sour soup.’
      • ‘Then she wouldn't be here with this idiot gnawing on chicken bones.’
  • 2The calcified material of which bones consist.

    ‘an earring of bone’
    • ‘In contrast, fossilized bone is believed to be completely mineralized, meaning no organics are present.’
    • ‘This involves the use of ivory, bone, and pieces of wood to create geometric patterns.’
    • ‘Ornaments and utensils in precious metals, bronze, bone and horn had also been uncovered.’
    • ‘Some Yoruba woodcarvers also work in bone, ivory, and stone.’
    • ‘‘Jacks date back to ancient Rome, when they were carved from ivory or bone,’ she says.’
    • ‘‘You have to be confident to be able to distinguish ivory from bone, and new ivory from old,’ said Mr Judson.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The spongy bone material was then used for DNA extraction.’
    • ‘A cheaper and readily available material which is often passed off as ivory is bone.’
    • ‘Any suitable material may be used, including quill, parchment, wood, ivory, bone, horn, tortoiseshell, and plastic.’
    • ‘The material would be gradually replaced by healthy, newly grown bone and blood vessels.’
    • ‘Bears resorb their bone material during hibernation, but they constantly form new bone material as well.’
    • ‘The hilt was made of fine bone and ivory, carved into the shape of a dragon.’
    • ‘My latest cut-down bone handled table knives have a near quadrant at the tip and cut unbelievably.’
    • ‘This canoe-style knife measures 3.75 inches long, and has bone handles.’
    • ‘Fine details carved in boxwood, bone, ivory, brass and ebony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bones are made up of two types of material - compact bone and cancellous bone.’
    • ‘The caves at Creswell Crags are known to have been occupied in palaeolithic times because hunters left behind bone and flint stone tools.’
    • ‘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.
      • ‘Mining activity has been a constant source of bone and ivory artifacts over the last several decades.’
      • ‘What's more, treasured wood was decorated with bone, jade, gold, bronze and shells adding to the value.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The bill sets out only the very bare bones of the framework on which the criteria for the process will be hung.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That's the basic bones of the argument, and there's lots of detail in and around it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a basic bare bones work on the battle of Chattanooga.’
  • 4vulgar slang A penis.

Main definitions of bone in 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.

      • ‘Again, this is coming pretty close to the bone for me, having once had a double-glazed bedroom window smashed by a rock.’
      • ‘The plot for the movie cut close to the bone of reality.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've no doubt it ruffled feathers in Charlestown at the time, it was so 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.’
      • ‘I also saw a satirical film last night - quite close to the bone for the Minister, wasn't it?’
      • ‘It is a story all too believable, all to real and close to the bone for many living in rural Ireland.’
      • ‘But it is so near the bone that it would make you weep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The movie cuts pretty close to the bone with characters who are less than likable and certainly less than redeeming.’
      • ‘This play is so insightful, cuts so close to the bone.’
    • 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’
      • ‘Transport manifesto commitments have been pared to the bone.’
      • ‘All have cut their costs to the bone and many have diversified their businesses.’
      • ‘They want to cut the service to the bone and cut the best fire service in the world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Health, education and welfare services have been cut to the bone to pay for the war and for huge financial incentives to investors.’
      • ‘As usual, we had cut our military to the bone and had a standing army of less than 200,000.’
      • ‘Most have cut their expenses to the bone and the consumers are not prepared to pass on the price increases.’
      • ‘So there is a war on, with each side cutting prices to the bone.’
      • ‘Corporate planning, accounting, research, and technical staffs are cut to the bone, if not disbanded at corporate level.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Education, training, and rehabilitation programs have been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘However, premiums have been cut to the bone, and life companies are looking to improve their margins and profits.’
      • ‘The concept is simple: cut operating costs to the bone and pass on the savings to customers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Add to that the fact that labor has been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But, with hindsight, we can already see that the company achieved spectacular growth by cutting premiums to the bone, and possibly under-reserving.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By paring components to the bone, Martin showed that even the smallest urban space can be a haven of tranquillity.’
  • have a bone to pick with someone

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

      • ‘Just make the horse move so much or else somebody is gonna have a bone to pick with you,’ I said.’
      • ‘He could be gruff and if he had a bone to pick with you, he picked it.’
      • ‘It's not like she's had a bone to pick with her lately.’
      • ‘Father came into the kitchen, looking like he had a bone to pick with me, then skidded to a halt.’
      • ‘The other passenger in the car, Lenny, has a bone to pick with Vince, because the latter got his daughter pregnant years before.’
      • ‘I remembered something, ‘Drew, I have a bone to pick with you.’’
      • ‘Perhaps I have always had a bone to pick with her because I believe that she stole my thunder.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘She didn't even have anything against those other guys, but she did have a bone to pick with Heero Yuy.’
      • ‘Someone could have a bone to pick with you soon, and they'll lay it on thick as sauce.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘You know, I actually have a bone to pick with you about that,’ she said between bites.’
      • ‘Don Pedro tells Benedick that Beatrice has a bone to pick with him.’
      • ‘I don't have a bone to pick with them and vice versa.’
      • ‘I don't have any complaints on the movie, but I do have a bone to pick with the film studio.’
      • ‘‘I have a bone to pick with you,’ I suddenly remembered, hitting him in the chest lightly, and totally ignoring his request.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Surely, when it is over you know it in your bones, and why would a manager have reason to thank you?’
      • ‘Russell said that he couldn't quite understand what Wittgenstein was saying, but he felt in his bones that he must be right.’
      • ‘I said I felt in my bones that it would be different than after previous European trips.’
      • ‘Wood can no longer see him - but as an insurance man you cannot help but believe he felt the risk in his 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.’
      • ‘Tocqueville understood this milieu in his bones.’
      • ‘In the end, they will have to feel it in their bones and smell it in the air, finding the words that ring true.’
      • ‘You either feel it in your heart, in your bones, in your gut, or you don't.’
      • ‘We believe in our bones that what we are doing is the right thing.’
      • ‘You know how you get a feeling in your bones that everything's coming up roses?’
      • ‘The magic is certainly there - you can feel it in your bones.’
      • ‘If we care deeply enough, if we feel it in our bones, then we won't take this sitting down.’
      • ‘You know, in your bones, that this is what you're supposed to be doing.’
      • ‘But they know, in their bones so to speak, that there are no more Saladin-like saviors out there.’
      • ‘Deep in their bones and their hearts, they expect to win, an assumption borne of talent, experience, and mental toughness.’
      • ‘I always thought this war was a bad idea, right from the start I felt it deep in my bones.’
      • ‘I could feel it in my bones that he was up against something stronger than his will and his prodigious intellect.’
      • ‘If there's one thing about Native people, one thing we've always had in our bones,’ she says, ‘it's community.’’
      • ‘It's not something medical… I can just feel it in my bones, just instinct.’
      • ‘Park status confirms what the locals already felt in their bones, that their home and environs are special places, worth getting excited about.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For starters, I liked April Fool's Day because the film makes no bones about what it is.’
      • ‘She is proud of her unusual occupation and appears to make no bones about who knows it.’
      • ‘‘She makes no bones about not liking journalists,’ says one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Labour is pragmatic in what it does, it makes no bones about that sometimes it will lean left sometimes right.’
      • ‘So the making of this documentary was clearly a journey of discovery for Moore himself, who makes no bones about not having the answers.’
      • ‘And his wife made no bones about why she ran off to France with their son, Eddie.’
      • ‘White made no bones about how they would seek to beat the Welsh yesterday.’
      • ‘‘We knew that there would be tickets available every day and we made no bones about that,’ he said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Westwood has made no bones about how unprepared he was for the media attention which accompanied his early success.’
      • ‘The solicitor told the court: ‘Her behaviour was dreadful and she makes no bones about that.’’
      • ‘Here is a movie that makes no bones about what it is - a horror sequel that knows its place in line.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A strange chemistry forms when the pair meets at the interview and Grey makes no bones about how boring the job will be.’
      • ‘He makes no bones about what others perceive as his abrasive manner.’
  • 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’
      • ‘And it cuts us to the bone when people dismiss our musings as the products of ego and petty hatreds.’
      • ‘It caught Maiden square beneath the jaw, cutting to the bone.’
      • ‘The wound went straight to the bone; she could see a sliver of white among the blood whenever she painfully flexed her fingers.’
      • ‘I walked back to my house and my arm was open down to the bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But his wit is more likely to scratch than cut to the bone.’
      • ‘She did not wince as blades sunk deeper to the bone.’
      • ‘His shoulder is cut to the bone, and he is flung to the wall.’
      • ‘It was a deep wound, not quite to the bone but not just skin either.’
      • ‘One of the operations was to repair his left hand and stitch up stab wounds, which cut through to the bone.’
      • ‘They can be superficial or very deep, extending to the bone.’
      • ‘Jessie felt drained, the bickering with Phoebe had cut her to the bone.’
      • ‘Albion's shoulder was cut to the bone, but besides a few bruises and scratches, the trio was unhurt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘David Sanborn's alto saxophone caresses the flesh as it cuts to the bone.’
      • ‘No, it's too steep for me, especially after Clarence had his leg cut to the bone in a rock slide.’
      • ‘She ran into a fence and the sharp wire cut to the bone.’
      • ‘This time the ankle was cut through to the bone and Scales had to have internal and external stitches inserted to repair the damage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1(especially of cold) affecting a person in a penetrating way.
        ‘chilled 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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘She noticed people running from the other end of the school, they were soaking wet, deep down to the bone.’
        • ‘Neko woke up, freezing cold, soaked to the bone with sweat.’
        • ‘Her entire body was stiff and sore, and she was cold 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’
      • ‘But, anyone who thinks that careerist social climbers aren't liberals to their bones just doesn't know what he's talking about.’
      • ‘Although he is a Democrat to his bones, he has disarmed Republicans.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Jeremiah was a patriot down to his bones and wrote an entire book lamenting the fall of his nation.’
      • ‘Shaunelle Curry is a teacher through to her bones.’
  • 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.

      • ‘As the saying goes, ‘what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh!’’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘It was just the 5th movement that had lately been keeping her up all night, working her fingers to the bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The man she had hated so was the man she worked her fingers to the bone to save.’
      • ‘In India, some kids are forced to toil in cotton fields while others work their fingers to the bone weaving silk.’
      • ‘‘We lived in a tiny little flat, and had no money, and my mother had to work her fingers to the bone,’ Carol says.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘There are people working their fingers to the bone every day for less than this proposed salary.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've worked my fingers to the bone, cleaning, organizing and even releasing to the trash bin things I no longer need.’
      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 bag of bones

    • informal An emaciated person or animal.

      ‘the pony is just a bag of bones’
      • ‘If it hadn't been for the campaign these 90 kilogram women would have been a bag of bones waiting to die.’
      • ‘Personally I don't find bodies that are a bag of bones attractive.’
      • ‘We've found animals wandering around the paddock, just a bag of bones, totally covered in scabs, hardly a hair on their body.’
      • ‘He's a bag of bones, he's not terribly pretty, and he was labeled "fractious" on his very first day at the pound.’
      • ‘She was so pretty and he was just a bag of bones that forgot to stop walking about.’
      • ‘I'm just a bag of bones, drifting like a large, hyper-evolved amoeba from stimulus to stimulus.’
      • ‘You got me specially tailored-made clothing, so I would not feel so depressed being just a bag of bones.’
      • ‘The young cat is fatter the old cat is a bag of bones, but happy.’
      • ‘It was just a bag of bones which could barely stand it was so weak.’
      • ‘While confined to a wheelchair just a few months ago and "just a bag of bones," Adams has gained 25 lb.’
      • ‘A dog owner told a court how his pet was 'just a bag of bones' when he went to collect him from boarding kennels.’
      • ‘It seems like too much energy for a bag of bones /And for the lucky souls /Waters wash away the cobwebs’
      • ‘Brooke said carrying the dog was "like carrying a bag of bones down the hill."’
      • ‘At least she's not a bag of bones and is cuter than Lohan, Barton, Bosworth, ect, ect.’
      • ‘It's easy, almost convenient, to forget that my cadaver is a man, not just a bag of bones and skin and connective tissue glued together with embalming fluid.’
      nag, inferior horse, tired-out horse, worn-out horse, rosinante
      View synonyms
    • informal

      see bag
      • ‘The other woman’s weight was nothing, a bag of bones covered by skin, that’s all.’
      • ‘What I remember about this hug is that it was not so much like hugging a person as it was like hugging a bag of bones.’
  • the bare bones

    • The basic facts about something, without any detail.

      ‘the bare bones of the plot’
      • ‘It describes the bare bones of the plot, if you can call it that.’
      • ‘Their reply second time around amounted to no more than 100 words, recounting the bare bones of the Ms deVere's employment history.’
      • ‘Tim Albery's serious, academic production is unremittingly dark - and why not, when the bare bones of the tale are those of an unrepentant, murderous rapist?’
      • ‘‘He was happy that the bare bones of the story were right, and that people should know the truth about what happened,’ Kehoe says.’
      • ‘And so we move with the times, stripping Twin Peaks down to the bare bones in an attempt to understand why our sense of fondness for it still lingers.’
      • ‘He's based the bare bones of his screenplay on our family!’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from strip-cartoon versions of Shakespeare's plays, the two groups began by stripping the stories to the bare bones and building their plays from there.’
      • ‘But it's that kind of show, using the bare bones of what went before to create a new series to capture new fans, and with a twist ending which just begs for a new series I think it will do just that.’
      • ‘Menus are stripped down to the bare bones for quick navigation, and the hot news topic is always placed at the top of the home page - whether that be football scores or the latest vote counts in elections.’
      • ‘There was a graphic style and a story, or at least the bare bones of one, that were very gripping.’
      • ‘The cropped timespan, 22 minutes in a half hour television broadcast, means that everything must be to the bare bones.’
      • ‘I wrote a story in early 2001 outlining the bare bones of what was known about the Bank, which was very little.’
      • ‘I had lunch, wrote the bare bones of the piece, e-mailed it to the office, drove to HQ, and rewrote the piece.’
      • ‘He knows audiences expect it, crave it, and gives them the bare bones, in a sometimes naturalistic, sometimes stylised mixture of English, French, Chinese and Japanese.’
      • ‘It cuts the story back to the bare bones but is visually interesting, even for those not very familiar with Shakespeare's text.’
      • ‘Harold has whittled the text down to the bare bones.’
      • ‘But maybe I'm just a bit old-school, and think it's better just to show the bare bones.’
      • ‘In general, service was warm and largely efficient throughout our stay, and more than a few members of staff went beyond the bare bones of what was necessary to be helpful.’
      • ‘In these circumstances a biographer might be wise to say as little as possible beyond the bare bones of recorded fact.’
      • ‘This story, to give just the bare bones of it, is told by the sole survivor of a Pacific Ocean shipwreck, who drifts for 7 months in a lifeboat along with a Bengal tiger.’
  • be skin and bones

    • (of a person or animal) be very thin.

      • ‘She was tiny at a weight of 4lb 11 oz and she was skin and bone then… now she's a great baby to play with and she's nine months old.’
      • ‘She was the thinnest fox he had ever seen, practically skin and bone.’
      • ‘She was only skin and bone and obviously very ill.’
      • ‘One day she saw this gardener - skin and bone - working very slowly and coughing all the time.’
      • ‘I couldn't even tell what it was because it was skin and bone.’
      • ‘Posh Spice isn't all that - she's all skin and bone and she's got horrible spots.’
      • ‘He was skin and bone, too weak to hold his head up.’
      • ‘If I'd lost another ten I'd have been skin and bone.’
      • ‘She was just skin and bone when she was rescued from the knacker's yard.’
      • ‘I treated people with unrelenting diarrhea, emaciated to skin and bone, crippled with nerve pain, and lost in dementia.’
  • 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’
      • ‘School prizes have always been bones of contention.’
      • ‘Sometime ago, the first point was a serious bone of contention with some opponents of Australian government policy on East Timor.’
      • ‘This was a bone of contention with residents and business owners.’
      • ‘However, the latter is the main bone of contention in this argument.’
      • ‘Footwear, even for the five-year-olds, can be a serious bone of contention within families at this time of year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The issue has been a bone of contention for several years between Mid West farmers and State Government authorities.’
      • ‘In the last century the same conflicts led to the First World War and continued to be a bone of contention throughout the Second.’
      • ‘Bank charges are a continual bone of contention between bankers and depositors.’
      • ‘This has been a bone of contention for many years and I am sure it will continue to be so for many more.’
      • ‘The city's educational system continues to be a bone of contention for Burns and other residents.’
      • ‘Control of the few viable roads is another bone of contention among various warlords who exercise their authority by blocking delivery of aid items.’
      • ‘Their two Schnauzers were the original bones of contention.’
      • ‘Road safety and pollution issues were the main bones of contention, with frequent tailbacks of lorries billowing fumes into people's homes, he said.’
      • ‘The zebra crossing outside the library in Pickwick Road, Corsham, has been a serious bone of contention among residents for a number of years.’
      • ‘Race relations in the USA continue to be a hot topic and a bone of contention for many American writers.’
      • ‘This matter has always been a bone of contention with councillors but on this occasion no one objected to the proposal by council management.’
      • ‘The community group said although they are no strangers to the struggle for technology, equality remains a major bone of contention.’
      • ‘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.’
      matter, matter in question, affair, business, subject, topic, question, point, point at issue, item, thing, case, concern, theme
      View synonyms
  • (as) dry as a bone

    • Extremely dry.

      • ‘As water bodies dry up, and the supply lines remain dry as a bone, the city residents are in for a long and hot spell of drought.’
      • ‘It's got hints of raspberry flavour and is as dry as a bone, with that Burgundy ability to vaporise pleasantly in the mouth.’
      • ‘Two thirds of Australia is as dry as a bone, over 5 million square kilometres of rock, scrub and sand.’
      • ‘If your favorite ride is being rained out, there is always another spot to ride that is dry as a bone.’
      • ‘I got up, sauntered over to grab a trolley, and made my way into the store, dry as a bone.’
      • ‘It's been as dry as a bone here in South Australia and much of Australia until last Friday.’
      • ‘The plants are dying and the ducks are getting desperate as their pond is dry as a bone.’
      • ‘But there was disappointment for visitors to Piccadilly Gardens, because the water feature there was dry as a bone after it stopped working.’
      • ‘Now was no different, he could wander the desert forever and come back dry as a bone and cool as ice.’
      • ‘In just a matter of weeks, Colorado and the surrounding states suddenly go dry as a bone.’
  • 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’
      • ‘I just do want to stress that we didn't have a political bone in our 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!’
      • ‘Darren is not a racist - he doesn’t have a racist 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.’
  • 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?’
      • ‘The company has decided to throw viewers a few bones by tacking on a couple of extra features to this disc.’
      • ‘Why not target middle incomes and throw a bone to low incomes with an occasional promotion?’
      • ‘So I still think it's worthwhile to throw a bone to the staid investment class.’
      • ‘What you see here is a case where the campaign felt they could throw a bone to the conservatives.’
      • ‘The new regime has thrown him a bone of sorts: convenorship of the health committee.’
      • ‘Finally, Lady Luck threw him a bone.’
      • ‘And I believe that his policies sometimes reflect a political need to throw a bone to that constituency to keep them happy.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's nice when life throws you a bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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

/bōn/

verb

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

    ‘while the gumbo is simmering, bone the cooked chicken’
    • ‘It is then boned and the meat is allowed to ‘age’ or mature for up to 14 days.’’
    • ‘Head butcher Paul Nicholson helped to choose the birds and bone the smaller ones before they could be stuffed inside the turkey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unless you are a dab-hand with the boning knife, ask the butcher to bone the chicken legs for you.’
    • ‘In recent years, although the name has almost disappeared, many butcher shops and supermarkets still sell boned shoulders of lamb complete with stuffing.’
    • ‘All biologists should eat kippers because it is quite impossible to bone one without thinking about development.’
    • ‘Clean and bone the fish, leaving their heads in place.’
    • ‘Have the turkey thighs boned and skinned at the meat market.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyone who thinks these people play anything remotely original needs to bone up on their musicology.’
    • ‘She's probably already boning up on the biography of Nelson Mandela.’
    • ‘So if you are wondering about what to bone up on if you want to be a security screener don't ask me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Those firms which bone up on the latest thinking will reap the benefits.’
    • ‘There's nothing like a stroll immediately before an interview for a spot of last minute boning up on your subject.’
    • ‘This stuff was actually quite easy after I boned up on my HTML.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    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.

      • ‘Again, this is coming pretty close to the bone for me, having once had a double-glazed bedroom window smashed by a rock.’
      • ‘The plot for the movie cut close to the bone of reality.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've no doubt it ruffled feathers in Charlestown at the time, it was so 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.’
      • ‘I also saw a satirical film last night - quite close to the bone for the Minister, wasn't it?’
      • ‘It is a story all too believable, all to real and close to the bone for many living in rural Ireland.’
      • ‘But it is so near the bone that it would make you weep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The movie cuts pretty close to the bone with characters who are less than likable and certainly less than redeeming.’
      • ‘This play is so insightful, cuts so close to the bone.’
    • 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’
      • ‘Transport manifesto commitments have been pared to the bone.’
      • ‘All have cut their costs to the bone and many have diversified their businesses.’
      • ‘They want to cut the service to the bone and cut the best fire service in the world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Health, education and welfare services have been cut to the bone to pay for the war and for huge financial incentives to investors.’
      • ‘As usual, we had cut our military to the bone and had a standing army of less than 200,000.’
      • ‘Most have cut their expenses to the bone and the consumers are not prepared to pass on the price increases.’
      • ‘So there is a war on, with each side cutting prices to the bone.’
      • ‘Corporate planning, accounting, research, and technical staffs are cut to the bone, if not disbanded at corporate level.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Education, training, and rehabilitation programs have been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘However, premiums have been cut to the bone, and life companies are looking to improve their margins and profits.’
      • ‘The concept is simple: cut operating costs to the bone and pass on the savings to customers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Add to that the fact that labor has been cut to the bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But, with hindsight, we can already see that the company achieved spectacular growth by cutting premiums to the bone, and possibly under-reserving.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By paring components to the bone, Martin showed that even the smallest urban space can be a haven of tranquillity.’
  • have a bone to pick with someone

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

      • ‘Just make the horse move so much or else somebody is gonna have a bone to pick with you,’ I said.’
      • ‘He could be gruff and if he had a bone to pick with you, he picked it.’
      • ‘It's not like she's had a bone to pick with her lately.’
      • ‘Father came into the kitchen, looking like he had a bone to pick with me, then skidded to a halt.’
      • ‘The other passenger in the car, Lenny, has a bone to pick with Vince, because the latter got his daughter pregnant years before.’
      • ‘I remembered something, ‘Drew, I have a bone to pick with you.’’
      • ‘Perhaps I have always had a bone to pick with her because I believe that she stole my thunder.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘She didn't even have anything against those other guys, but she did have a bone to pick with Heero Yuy.’
      • ‘Someone could have a bone to pick with you soon, and they'll lay it on thick as sauce.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘You know, I actually have a bone to pick with you about that,’ she said between bites.’
      • ‘Don Pedro tells Benedick that Beatrice has a bone to pick with him.’
      • ‘I don't have a bone to pick with them and vice versa.’
      • ‘I don't have any complaints on the movie, but I do have a bone to pick with the film studio.’
      • ‘‘I have a bone to pick with you,’ I suddenly remembered, hitting him in the chest lightly, and totally ignoring his request.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Surely, when it is over you know it in your bones, and why would a manager have reason to thank you?’
      • ‘Russell said that he couldn't quite understand what Wittgenstein was saying, but he felt in his bones that he must be right.’
      • ‘I said I felt in my bones that it would be different than after previous European trips.’
      • ‘Wood can no longer see him - but as an insurance man you cannot help but believe he felt the risk in his 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.’
      • ‘Tocqueville understood this milieu in his bones.’
      • ‘In the end, they will have to feel it in their bones and smell it in the air, finding the words that ring true.’
      • ‘You either feel it in your heart, in your bones, in your gut, or you don't.’
      • ‘We believe in our bones that what we are doing is the right thing.’
      • ‘You know how you get a feeling in your bones that everything's coming up roses?’
      • ‘The magic is certainly there - you can feel it in your bones.’
      • ‘If we care deeply enough, if we feel it in our bones, then we won't take this sitting down.’
      • ‘You know, in your bones, that this is what you're supposed to be doing.’
      • ‘But they know, in their bones so to speak, that there are no more Saladin-like saviors out there.’
      • ‘Deep in their bones and their hearts, they expect to win, an assumption borne of talent, experience, and mental toughness.’
      • ‘I always thought this war was a bad idea, right from the start I felt it deep in my bones.’
      • ‘I could feel it in my bones that he was up against something stronger than his will and his prodigious intellect.’
      • ‘If there's one thing about Native people, one thing we've always had in our bones,’ she says, ‘it's community.’’
      • ‘It's not something medical… I can just feel it in my bones, just instinct.’
      • ‘Park status confirms what the locals already felt in their bones, that their home and environs are special places, worth getting excited about.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For starters, I liked April Fool's Day because the film makes no bones about what it is.’
      • ‘She is proud of her unusual occupation and appears to make no bones about who knows it.’
      • ‘‘She makes no bones about not liking journalists,’ says one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Labour is pragmatic in what it does, it makes no bones about that sometimes it will lean left sometimes right.’
      • ‘So the making of this documentary was clearly a journey of discovery for Moore himself, who makes no bones about not having the answers.’
      • ‘And his wife made no bones about why she ran off to France with their son, Eddie.’
      • ‘White made no bones about how they would seek to beat the Welsh yesterday.’
      • ‘‘We knew that there would be tickets available every day and we made no bones about that,’ he said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Westwood has made no bones about how unprepared he was for the media attention which accompanied his early success.’
      • ‘The solicitor told the court: ‘Her behaviour was dreadful and she makes no bones about that.’’
      • ‘Here is a movie that makes no bones about what it is - a horror sequel that knows its place in line.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A strange chemistry forms when the pair meets at the interview and Grey makes no bones about how boring the job will be.’
      • ‘He makes no bones about what others perceive as his abrasive manner.’
  • 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’
      • ‘And it cuts us to the bone when people dismiss our musings as the products of ego and petty hatreds.’
      • ‘It caught Maiden square beneath the jaw, cutting to the bone.’
      • ‘The wound went straight to the bone; she could see a sliver of white among the blood whenever she painfully flexed her fingers.’
      • ‘I walked back to my house and my arm was open down to the bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But his wit is more likely to scratch than cut to the bone.’
      • ‘She did not wince as blades sunk deeper to the bone.’
      • ‘His shoulder is cut to the bone, and he is flung to the wall.’
      • ‘It was a deep wound, not quite to the bone but not just skin either.’
      • ‘One of the operations was to repair his left hand and stitch up stab wounds, which cut through to the bone.’
      • ‘They can be superficial or very deep, extending to the bone.’
      • ‘Jessie felt drained, the bickering with Phoebe had cut her to the bone.’
      • ‘Albion's shoulder was cut to the bone, but besides a few bruises and scratches, the trio was unhurt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘David Sanborn's alto saxophone caresses the flesh as it cuts to the bone.’
      • ‘No, it's too steep for me, especially after Clarence had his leg cut to the bone in a rock slide.’
      • ‘She ran into a fence and the sharp wire cut to the bone.’
      • ‘This time the ankle was cut through to the bone and Scales had to have internal and external stitches inserted to repair the damage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1(especially of cold) affecting a person in a penetrating way.
        ‘chilled 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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘She noticed people running from the other end of the school, they were soaking wet, deep down to the bone.’
        • ‘Neko woke up, freezing cold, soaked to the bone with sweat.’
        • ‘Her entire body was stiff and sore, and she was cold 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’
      • ‘But, anyone who thinks that careerist social climbers aren't liberals to their bones just doesn't know what he's talking about.’
      • ‘Although he is a Democrat to his bones, he has disarmed Republicans.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Jeremiah was a patriot down to his bones and wrote an entire book lamenting the fall of his nation.’
      • ‘Shaunelle Curry is a teacher through to her bones.’
  • 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.

      • ‘As the saying goes, ‘what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh!’’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘It was just the 5th movement that had lately been keeping her up all night, working her fingers to the bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The man she had hated so was the man she worked her fingers to the bone to save.’
      • ‘In India, some kids are forced to toil in cotton fields while others work their fingers to the bone weaving silk.’
      • ‘‘We lived in a tiny little flat, and had no money, and my mother had to work her fingers to the bone,’ Carol says.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘There are people working their fingers to the bone every day for less than this proposed salary.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've worked my fingers to the bone, cleaning, organizing and even releasing to the trash bin things I no longer need.’
      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 bag of bones

    • informal An emaciated person or animal.

      ‘the pony is just a bag of bones’
      • ‘If it hadn't been for the campaign these 90 kilogram women would have been a bag of bones waiting to die.’
      • ‘Personally I don't find bodies that are a bag of bones attractive.’
      • ‘We've found animals wandering around the paddock, just a bag of bones, totally covered in scabs, hardly a hair on their body.’
      • ‘He's a bag of bones, he's not terribly pretty, and he was labeled "fractious" on his very first day at the pound.’
      • ‘She was so pretty and he was just a bag of bones that forgot to stop walking about.’
      • ‘I'm just a bag of bones, drifting like a large, hyper-evolved amoeba from stimulus to stimulus.’
      • ‘You got me specially tailored-made clothing, so I would not feel so depressed being just a bag of bones.’
      • ‘The young cat is fatter the old cat is a bag of bones, but happy.’
      • ‘It was just a bag of bones which could barely stand it was so weak.’
      • ‘While confined to a wheelchair just a few months ago and "just a bag of bones," Adams has gained 25 lb.’
      • ‘A dog owner told a court how his pet was 'just a bag of bones' when he went to collect him from boarding kennels.’
      • ‘It seems like too much energy for a bag of bones /And for the lucky souls /Waters wash away the cobwebs’
      • ‘Brooke said carrying the dog was "like carrying a bag of bones down the hill."’
      • ‘At least she's not a bag of bones and is cuter than Lohan, Barton, Bosworth, ect, ect.’
      • ‘It's easy, almost convenient, to forget that my cadaver is a man, not just a bag of bones and skin and connective tissue glued together with embalming fluid.’
      nag, inferior horse, tired-out horse, worn-out horse, rosinante
      View synonyms
    • informal

      see bag">bag
      • ‘The other woman’s weight was nothing, a bag of bones covered by skin, that’s all.’
      • ‘What I remember about this hug is that it was not so much like hugging a person as it was like hugging a bag of bones.’
  • the bare bones

    • The basic facts about something, without any detail.

      ‘the bare bones of the plot’
      • ‘It describes the bare bones of the plot, if you can call it that.’
      • ‘Their reply second time around amounted to no more than 100 words, recounting the bare bones of the Ms deVere's employment history.’
      • ‘Tim Albery's serious, academic production is unremittingly dark - and why not, when the bare bones of the tale are those of an unrepentant, murderous rapist?’
      • ‘‘He was happy that the bare bones of the story were right, and that people should know the truth about what happened,’ Kehoe says.’
      • ‘And so we move with the times, stripping Twin Peaks down to the bare bones in an attempt to understand why our sense of fondness for it still lingers.’
      • ‘He's based the bare bones of his screenplay on our family!’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from strip-cartoon versions of Shakespeare's plays, the two groups began by stripping the stories to the bare bones and building their plays from there.’
      • ‘But it's that kind of show, using the bare bones of what went before to create a new series to capture new fans, and with a twist ending which just begs for a new series I think it will do just that.’
      • ‘Menus are stripped down to the bare bones for quick navigation, and the hot news topic is always placed at the top of the home page - whether that be football scores or the latest vote counts in elections.’
      • ‘There was a graphic style and a story, or at least the bare bones of one, that were very gripping.’
      • ‘The cropped timespan, 22 minutes in a half hour television broadcast, means that everything must be to the bare bones.’
      • ‘I wrote a story in early 2001 outlining the bare bones of what was known about the Bank, which was very little.’
      • ‘I had lunch, wrote the bare bones of the piece, e-mailed it to the office, drove to HQ, and rewrote the piece.’
      • ‘He knows audiences expect it, crave it, and gives them the bare bones, in a sometimes naturalistic, sometimes stylised mixture of English, French, Chinese and Japanese.’
      • ‘It cuts the story back to the bare bones but is visually interesting, even for those not very familiar with Shakespeare's text.’
      • ‘Harold has whittled the text down to the bare bones.’
      • ‘But maybe I'm just a bit old-school, and think it's better just to show the bare bones.’
      • ‘In general, service was warm and largely efficient throughout our stay, and more than a few members of staff went beyond the bare bones of what was necessary to be helpful.’
      • ‘In these circumstances a biographer might be wise to say as little as possible beyond the bare bones of recorded fact.’
      • ‘This story, to give just the bare bones of it, is told by the sole survivor of a Pacific Ocean shipwreck, who drifts for 7 months in a lifeboat along with a Bengal tiger.’
  • be skin and bones

    • (of a person or animal) be very thin.

      • ‘She was tiny at a weight of 4lb 11 oz and she was skin and bone then… now she's a great baby to play with and she's nine months old.’
      • ‘She was the thinnest fox he had ever seen, practically skin and bone.’
      • ‘She was only skin and bone and obviously very ill.’
      • ‘One day she saw this gardener - skin and bone - working very slowly and coughing all the time.’
      • ‘I couldn't even tell what it was because it was skin and bone.’
      • ‘Posh Spice isn't all that - she's all skin and bone and she's got horrible spots.’
      • ‘He was skin and bone, too weak to hold his head up.’
      • ‘If I'd lost another ten I'd have been skin and bone.’
      • ‘She was just skin and bone when she was rescued from the knacker's yard.’
      • ‘I treated people with unrelenting diarrhea, emaciated to skin and bone, crippled with nerve pain, and lost in dementia.’
  • 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’
      • ‘School prizes have always been bones of contention.’
      • ‘Sometime ago, the first point was a serious bone of contention with some opponents of Australian government policy on East Timor.’
      • ‘This was a bone of contention with residents and business owners.’
      • ‘However, the latter is the main bone of contention in this argument.’
      • ‘Footwear, even for the five-year-olds, can be a serious bone of contention within families at this time of year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The issue has been a bone of contention for several years between Mid West farmers and State Government authorities.’
      • ‘In the last century the same conflicts led to the First World War and continued to be a bone of contention throughout the Second.’
      • ‘Bank charges are a continual bone of contention between bankers and depositors.’
      • ‘This has been a bone of contention for many years and I am sure it will continue to be so for many more.’
      • ‘The city's educational system continues to be a bone of contention for Burns and other residents.’
      • ‘Control of the few viable roads is another bone of contention among various warlords who exercise their authority by blocking delivery of aid items.’
      • ‘Their two Schnauzers were the original bones of contention.’
      • ‘Road safety and pollution issues were the main bones of contention, with frequent tailbacks of lorries billowing fumes into people's homes, he said.’
      • ‘The zebra crossing outside the library in Pickwick Road, Corsham, has been a serious bone of contention among residents for a number of years.’
      • ‘Race relations in the USA continue to be a hot topic and a bone of contention for many American writers.’
      • ‘This matter has always been a bone of contention with councillors but on this occasion no one objected to the proposal by council management.’
      • ‘The community group said although they are no strangers to the struggle for technology, equality remains a major bone of contention.’
      • ‘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.’
      matter, matter in question, affair, business, subject, topic, question, point, point at issue, item, thing, case, concern, theme
      View synonyms
  • (as) dry as a bone

    • Extremely dry.

      • ‘As water bodies dry up, and the supply lines remain dry as a bone, the city residents are in for a long and hot spell of drought.’
      • ‘It's got hints of raspberry flavour and is as dry as a bone, with that Burgundy ability to vaporise pleasantly in the mouth.’
      • ‘Two thirds of Australia is as dry as a bone, over 5 million square kilometres of rock, scrub and sand.’
      • ‘If your favorite ride is being rained out, there is always another spot to ride that is dry as a bone.’
      • ‘I got up, sauntered over to grab a trolley, and made my way into the store, dry as a bone.’
      • ‘It's been as dry as a bone here in South Australia and much of Australia until last Friday.’
      • ‘The plants are dying and the ducks are getting desperate as their pond is dry as a bone.’
      • ‘But there was disappointment for visitors to Piccadilly Gardens, because the water feature there was dry as a bone after it stopped working.’
      • ‘Now was no different, he could wander the desert forever and come back dry as a bone and cool as ice.’
      • ‘In just a matter of weeks, Colorado and the surrounding states suddenly go dry as a bone.’
  • 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’
      • ‘I just do want to stress that we didn't have a political bone in our 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!’
      • ‘Darren is not a racist - he doesn’t have a racist 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.’
  • 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?’
      • ‘The company has decided to throw viewers a few bones by tacking on a couple of extra features to this disc.’
      • ‘Why not target middle incomes and throw a bone to low incomes with an occasional promotion?’
      • ‘So I still think it's worthwhile to throw a bone to the staid investment class.’
      • ‘What you see here is a case where the campaign felt they could throw a bone to the conservatives.’
      • ‘The new regime has thrown him a bone of sorts: convenorship of the health committee.’
      • ‘Finally, Lady Luck threw him a bone.’
      • ‘And I believe that his policies sometimes reflect a political need to throw a bone to that constituency to keep them happy.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's nice when life throws you a bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I bet this was already obsolete in design and technology some years back, and they wanted to throw a bone to the public.’