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skull and crossbones

a representation of a front view of a human skull above two crossed bones, originally used on pirates' flags and now used as a warning sign, as in designating substances as poisons.
Origin of skull and crossbones
1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skull and crossbones
  • They've got the skull and crossbones and everything.
  • But as researchers screen more and more substances, a dizzying number emerge from the lab festooned with skull and crossbones.
  • Never drink anything with a skull and crossbones picture on the label.
  • The billboard features a picture of hot dogs in a cigarette pack inscribed with skull and crossbones.
  • Which makes it all the more striking that a morbid skull and crossbones should suddenly turn up as a look for spring.
  • Actually these followers of the skull and crossbones look as if they had been shanghaied from a modern costume dance.
  • Jobs exhorted, and they raised a skull and crossbones over their offices.
  • He is not quite such a brazen scoundrel as he imagined he would make on the deck of a ship flying the skull and crossbones.
  • When you're a senior, you get the sword and skull and crossbones.
  • They are sometimes identified with the symbol of skull and crossbones.
British Dictionary definitions for skull and crossbones

skull and crossbones

a picture of the human skull above two crossed thighbones, formerly on the pirate flag, now used as a warning of danger or death
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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skull and crossbones in Medicine

skull and crossbones n. pl. skulls and crossbones
A representation of a human skull above two long crossed bones, a symbol of death used as a warning label on poisons.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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skull and crossbones in Culture

skull and crossbones definition

A picture or outline of a human skull and two crossed arm or leg bones. Pirate ships are supposed to have used the skull and crossbones on their flags. (See also Jolly Roger.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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