Definition for BONE

BONE, n. [Sax. ban; Sw. ben; D. been, bone or leg; Ger. bein, a leg; Dan. been, leg or bone. The sense probably is, that which is set or fixed.]

  1. A firm hard substance, of a dull white color, composing some part of the frame of an animal body. The bones of an animal support all the softer parts, as the flesh and vessels. They vary in texture in different bones, and in different parts of the same bone. The long bones are compact in their middle portion, with a central cavity occupied by a network of plates and fibers, and cellular or spongy at the extremities. The flat bones are compact externally, and cellular internally. The bones in a fetus are soft and cartilaginous, but they gradually harden with age. The ends of the long bones are larger than the middle, which renders the articulations more firm, and in the fetus are distinct portions, called epiphyses. Bones are supplied with blood-vessels, and in the fetus, or in a diseased state, are very vascular. They are probably also furnished with nerves and absorbents, though less easily detected in a sound state. They are covered with a thin, strong membrane, called the periosteum, which, together with the bones, has very little sensibility in a sound state, but when inflamed, is extremely sensible. Their cells and cavities are occupied by a fatty substance, called the medulla or marrow. They consist of earthy matter rather more than half, gelatin one sixteenth, and cartilage about one third of the whole. The earthy matter gives them their solidity, and consists of phosphate of lime, with a small portion of carbonate of lime and phosphate of magnesia. – Cyc. Wistar. Thomson.
  2. A piece of bone, with fragments of meat adhering to it. To be upon the bones, is to attack. [Little used, and vulgar.] To make no bones, is to make no scruple; a metaphor taken from a dog who greedily swallows meat that has no bones. – Johnson. Bones, a sort of bobbins, made of trotter bones, for weaving lace; also, dice. – Johnson.

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