follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

wishbone

[wish-bohn] /ˈwɪʃˌboʊn/
noun
1.
a forked bone, formed by the fusion of the two clavicles, in front of the breastbone in most birds; furcula.
2.
Football. an offensive formation in which the fullback is positioned directly behind the quarterback and the two halfbacks are positioned farther behind and to the left and right, respectively.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55, Americanism; wish + bone; so called from the custom of pulling the furcula of a cooked fowl apart until it breaks, the person holding the longer (sometimes shorter) piece being granted a wish
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for wishbone
  • Its shoulders, wishbone and large sternum resembled those of modern birds.
  • Calhoun plays right halfback in a wishbone, but he gets the football a lot of times in that offense.
  • On the right is a drawing of the deformation of the wishbone.
  • If you do this with a wishbone, you should be able to tie a knot in it at the end of the experiment.
  • One square plate spring latch or wishbone lock survives at the second level, though that may not have been its original location.
British Dictionary definitions for wishbone

wishbone

/ˈwɪʃˌbəʊn/
noun
1.
the V-shaped bone above the breastbone in most birds consisting of the fused clavicles; furcula
Word Origin
C17: from the custom of two people breaking apart the bone after eating: the person with the longer part makes a wish
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
Word Origin and History for wishbone
n.

1860, from wish + bone (n.); so called from the custom of making a wish while pulling the bone in two with another person. The wishbone breaking custom dates to the early 17c., when the bone was a merrythought.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
wishbone in Science
wishbone
  (wĭsh'bōn')   
The forked bone in front of the breastbone in most birds, consisting of the two collarbones partly fused together. It serves as a spring, capturing some of the energy during the downward stroke of the wings for release on the upward stroke.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for wishbone

wise up

verb phrase

To become shrewdly aware; get smart, get with it •Often an exhortation: Wise up or you'll lose this opportunity/ Now, however, the industry is wising up (1914+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for wishbone

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wishbone

16
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for wishbone