Use the adjective skeletal to describe anything that relates to a skeleton or anything without a lot of "flesh," like the skeletal remains of a bird or the skeletal outline of a paper that is missing all the details.

If you're a scientist or a doctor, you may use the word skeletal mostly to talk about skeletons, but it also describes someone who is dangerously thin. A skeletal stray dog has probably been living on the streets for a long time. This word is also used figuratively to describe something that has not yet been "fleshed out" — like a skeletal staff or crew that operates without a lot of support. The root of skeletal is the Greek skeleton, "dried-up body, mummy, or skeleton."

Definitions of skeletal
  1. adjective
    of or relating to or forming or attached to a skeleton
    “the skeletal system”
    skeletal bones”
    skeletal muscles”
  2. adjective
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    synonyms: bony, cadaverous, emaciated, gaunt, haggard, pinched, wasted
    lean, thin
    lacking excess flesh
  3. adjective
    giving only major points; lacking completeness
    synonyms: sketchy, unelaborated
    incomplete, uncomplete
    not complete or total; not completed
Word Family

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