Archaic, very small creature; skeleton.
A tiny particle; atom, mite
1. Something composed of parts fitted together and united
2. The physical makeup of an animal and especially a human body; physique, figure
3. The underlying constructional system or structure that gives shape or strength (as to a building)
4. A frame dwelling
5. A machine built upon or within a framework
6. An open case or structure made for admitting, enclosing, or supporting something
7. A part of a pair of glasses that holds one of the lenses
9. A structural unit in an automobile chassis supported on the axles and supporting the rest of the chassis and the body
10. An enclosing border; the matter or area enclosed in such a border
11. One of a series of still transparent photographs on a strip of film used in making movies.
ETYM New Lat., from Greek skeletos a dried body, a mummy.
The rigid or semirigid framework that supports and gives form to an animal's body, protects its internal organs, and provides anchorage points for its muscles. The skeleton may be composed of bone and cartilage (vertebrates), chitin (arthropods), calcium carbonate (mollusks and other invertebrates), or silica (many protists). The human skeleton is composed of 206 bones.
It may be internal, forming an endoskeleton, or external, forming an exoskeleton. Another type of skeleton, found in invertebrates such as earthworms, is the hydrostatic skeleton. This gains partial rigidity from fluid enclosed within a body cavity. Because the fluid cannot be compressed, contraction of one part of the body results in extension of another part, giving peristaltic motion.
1. The hard structure that provides a frame for the body of an animal; SYN. frame.
2. The internal structure that gives an artifact its shape; SYN. frame, underframe.