Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

Fall Head Over Heels...

skull and crossbones

noun
1.
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
1820-1830
1820-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for skull-and-crossbones
Historical Examples
  • When Shagarach stepped from the car on his way to meet Mr. skull-and-crossbones he found that he was early.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • By the way, my correspondent, Mr. skull-and-crossbones, has honored me again.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • I was determined—I think we were all determined—not to be bullied by these islanders and their skull-and-crossbones ditty.

    Phroso Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for skull-and-crossbones

skull and crossbones

noun
1.
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for skull and crossbones

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for skull

9
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for skull-and-crossbones