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Pronunciation: skel'e-ton


  1. The bony framework of the body in vertebrates (endoskeleton) or the hard outer envelope of insects (exoskeleton or dermoskeleton).
  2. All the dry parts remaining after the destruction and removal of the soft parts; this includes ligaments and cartilages as well as bones.
  3. All the bones of the body taken collectively.
  4. A rigid or semirigid nonosseous structure that functions as the supporting framework of a particular structure.

[G. skeletos, dried, ntr. skeleton, a mummy, a skeleton]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.