Definition of wishbone in English:



  • 1A forked bone (the furcula) between the neck and breast of a bird. According to a popular custom, this bone from a cooked bird is broken by two people, with the holder of the longer portion being entitled to make a wish.

    • ‘They clutch horseshoes and charm bracelets, they pull wishbones and cross their fingers - yet only a handful have reason to smile after the Lottery draw, where, for the punter, luck certainly plays a major part.’
    • ‘Heaped on a pedestal, the intact wishbones are perfect wish opportunities forgone for the sake of art.’
    • ‘Suddenly they stop, statue-still, their knees crooked around one another, like fingers pulling on a wishbone.’
    • ‘Tyrannosaurs shared a number of characteristics with birds, including hollow bones, feet with three primary toes that all pointed forward, and a wishbone.’
    • ‘There are concrete beams, two kinds of truss, a suspension arch (like a miniature Sydney Harbour Bridge) and finally the elegant and ingenious Millennium Bridge: imagine a pair of wishbones joined at the tips.’
    • ‘Lift up the neck skin to expose the wishbone and cut this away from the flesh, using a razor-sharp knife.’
    • ‘In Sue, the two shoulder blades seem to be joined by a very small, almost straight piece of bone, and this was supposed to suggest that this was a wishbone like a bird's.’
    • ‘Nothing too dramatic, just a potentially life-threatening trip over my own walking pole, which snaps like a wishbone.’
    • ‘They were not very varied in design and the emphasis was on good luck charms such as four-leaf clovers, horseshoes and wishbones, again set with tiny diamonds.’
    • ‘The V-shaped wishbone is important because it is typical of birds and what may be their immediate dinosaur ancestors.’
  • 2An object of similar shape to a wishbone, in particular.

    • ‘A steel wishbone can be bent into amazing shapes before it breaks while a carbon version, although stronger, will snap rather than bend.’
    • ‘The London-based jewellery designer sold the gorgeous actress a pair of her gold hoop wishbone earrings just in time for a London film - not bad for a first foray onto the red carpet.’
    • ‘Approximating a range of icons - spaceship, comma, wishbone, beetle, picket fence - these ensembles are studies in the suggestiveness of simple shapes.’
    • ‘The F400 uses a pushrod design and all the wishbones are aerodynamically shaped.’
    • ‘With this rig the hook length and lead link are joined together and attached to the main line with a second swivel, in a similar manner to the beach anglers wishbone rig.’
    1. 2.1American Football An offensive formation in which the fullback lines up immediately behind the quarterback with the two halfbacks behind and on either side of the fullback.
      • ‘From the days of the single wing, through the wishbone and through the modern era of wide-open offenses and spread sets, it always has been about running the ball.’
      • ‘The three who came before Stoops all had one common flaw: Their offenses - wishbone or not - never made an impact.’
      • ‘Just line him up any which way - West Coast, vertical offense, wing-T, wishbone, doesn't matter - and let the most exciting player in the league do his thing.’
      • ‘Any football fan over 40 doesn't need to be reminded who Jack was - the first wishbone quarterback at the University of Oklahoma.’
      • ‘The school with the history and tradition of running quarterbacks and wishbone offenses was about to be hit with culture shock.’
    2. 2.2 A forked element in the suspension of a motor vehicle or aircraft, typically attached to a wheel at one end with the two arms hinged to the chassis.
      • ‘The major components of the independent double wishbone suspension are aluminium or titanium with Teflon and Uniball joints used throughout.’
      • ‘The double wishbone suspension and coil-over shocks are mounted to large aluminum castings.’
      • ‘The total of twenty inches of suspension travel was achieved through the use of a purpose-built front and rear double A-arm independent wishbone suspension with coil over dampers’
      • ‘The front suspension is a double wishbone coil spring with damper and a five-link coil sprung solid axle in the rear.’
      • ‘A double wishbone front suspension and gas-filled rear shocks help absorb vibration at faster speeds while providing a smoother ride over mixed road services.’
    3. 2.3Sailing A boom in two halves that curve outward around a sail and meet aft of it.