1. <anatomy> The hard, calcified tissue of the skeleton of vertebrate animals, consisting very largely of calcic carbonate, calcic phosphate, and gelatine; as, blood and bone.
Even in the hardest parts of bone there are many minute cavities containing living matter and connected by minute canals, some of which connect with larger canals through which blood vessels ramify.
2. One of the pieces or parts of an animal skeleton; as, a rib or a thigh bone; a bone of the arm or leg; also, any fragment of bony substance. (pl) The frame or skeleton of the body.
3. Anything made of bone, as a bobbin for weaving bone lace.
4. Two or four pieces of bone held between the fingers and struck together to make a kind of music.
6. Whalebone; hence, a piece of whalebone or of steel for a corset.
7. The framework of anything. A bone of contention, a subject of contention or dispute. A bone to pick, something to investigate, or to busy one's self about; a dispute to be settled (with some one). Bone ash, the residue from calcined bones; used for making cupels, and for cleaning jewelry.
<mathematics> Bone black, a right whale. To be upon the bones of, to attack. To pick a bone with, to quarrel with, as dogs quarrel over a bone; to settle a disagreement.
Origin: OE. Bon, ban, AS. Ban; akin to Icel. Bein, Sw. Ben, Dan. & D. Been, G. Bein bone, leg; cf. Icel. Beinn straight.
(01 Mar 1998)