A Dictionary of the English Language
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Bone (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 267

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 267

Bone. n.s. [ban, Saxon.]

  1. The solid parts of the body of an animal are made up of hard fibres, tied one to another by small transverse fibres, as those of the muscles. In a fœtus they are porous, soft, and easily discerned. As their pores fill with a substance of their own nature, so they increase, harden, and grow close to one another. They are all spongy, and full of little cells, or are of a considerable firm thickness, with a large cavity, except the teeth; and where they are articulated, they are covered with a thin and strong membrane, called the periosteum. Each bone is much bigger at its extremity than in the middle, that the articulations might be firm, and the bones not easily put out of joint. But, because the middle of the bone should be strong, to sustain its alloted weight, and resist accidents, the fibres are there more closely compacted together, supporting one another; and the bone is made hollow, and consequently not so easily broken, as it must have been, had it been solid and smaller. Quincy.

    Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold. Macbeth.

    There was lately a young gentleman bit to the bone. Tatler.

  2. A fragment of meat; a bone with as much flesh as adheres to it.

    Like Æsop's hounds, contending for the bone,
    Each pleaded right, and would be lord alone.
    Dryden.

  3. To be upon the bones. To attack.

    Puss had a mouth's mind to be upon the bones of him, but was not willing to pick a quarrel. L'Estrange.

  4. To make no bones. To make no scruple; a metaphor taken from a dog, who readily swallows meat that has no bones.

  5. Bones. A sort of bobbins, made of trotter bones, for weaving bonelace.

  6. Bones. Dice.

    But then my study was to cog the dice,
    And dext'rously to throw the lucky sice:
    To shun ames ace that swept my stakes away;
    And watch the box, for fear they should convey
    False bones, and put upon me in the play.
    Dryden's Pers.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Quincy, John (60) · Tatler (23)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Bone (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 15, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=12613.


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