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[skel-i-tl] /ˈskɛl ɪ tl/
of, relating to, or like a skeleton.
Origin of skeletal
1850-55; skelet(on) + -al1
Related forms
skeletally, adverb
nonskeletal, adjective
nonskeletally, adverb
pseudoskeletal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skeletal
  • Some of this family resemblance is certainly a consequence of similar muscular and skeletal structures underlying the face.
  • There must be something more to the success of such a varied group than their skeletal and muscular inheritance.
  • The website stayed up, operated from a back-up site, but in skeletal form.
  • There needs to be a positive connection to the skeletal structure of the body, not a corset tightened around an arm or a leg.
  • The cameras create a computerized skeletal model that the system can then map to the virtual avatar.
  • These cells play a key role in bone remodeling, a process that is vital to skeletal health.
  • If there was a local bones specialist at a university, often law enforcement would take skeletal remains there.
  • Still, there remain important questions about the way skeletal anatomy relates to soft tissue anatomy.
  • And the more acidic the water, the harder it is for corals to deposit the skeletal structures that form the bulk of the reef.
  • When you have a skeletal cut of meat, there are only so many things you can do with it.
Word Origin and History for skeletal

1849, from skeleton + -al (1). Related: Skeletally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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skeletal in Science

  1. The internal structure of vertebrate animals, composed of bone or cartilage, that supports the body, serves as a framework for the attachment of muscles, and protects the vital organs and associated structures.

  2. A hard protective covering or supporting structure of invertebrate animals. See also endoskeleton, exoskeleton.

skeletal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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