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 and the holder of the longer portion is then 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.’
    • ‘Suddenly they stop, statue-still, their knees crooked around one another, like fingers pulling on a wishbone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tyrannosaurs shared a number of characteristics with birds, including hollow bones, feet with three primary toes that all pointed forward, and a wishbone.’
    • ‘Lift up the neck skin to expose the wishbone and cut this away from the flesh, using a razor-sharp knife.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Heaped on a pedestal, the intact wishbones are perfect wish opportunities forgone for the sake of art.’
  • 2A 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.

    [as modifier] ‘double wishbone suspension’
    • ‘The double wishbone suspension and coil-over shocks are mounted to large aluminum castings.’
    • ‘The major components of the independent double wishbone suspension are aluminium or titanium with Teflon and Uniball joints used throughout.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The front suspension is a double wishbone coil spring with damper and a five-link coil sprung solid axle in the rear.’
    • ‘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’
  • 3Sailing
    A boom in two halves which curve outwards around a sail and meet aft of it.