Definition of bony in US English:



  • 1Of or like bone.

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