skeleton [skel′ə tən]
[ModL < Gr < skeleton (sōma), dried (body), mummy < skeletos, dried up, akin to sklēros, dry, hard < IE base * (s)kel- > SHALLOW]
1. the hard framework of an animal body, supporting the tissues and protecting the organs; specif., all the bones collectively, or the bony framework, of a human being or other vertebrate animal
2. anything like a skeleton in any of various ways
a) a very lean or emaciated person or animal
b) a supporting framework, as of a ship
c) an outline or preliminary sketch, as of a novel
d) the meager or devitalized remains of something
1. of or like a skeleton; specif., of, or having the nature of, the main or essential outline, framework, etc. [a skeleton plan]
2. greatly reduced [a skeleton force]
skeleton at the feast
a person or event that brings gloom or sadness to an occasion of joy or celebration
skeleton in the closet
some fact, as about one's family, kept secret because of shame or fear of disgrace
skeletal [skel′ətəl]

English World dictionary. . 2014.