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Collins

skeleton

  
     (figurative)  
bare bones, bones, draft, frame, framework, outline, sketch, structure  
English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  
Collins

skeleton

  
  ( skeletons    plural  )
1       n-count   Your skeleton is the framework of bones in your body.  
...a human skeleton.     
2       adj   A skeleton staff is the smallest number of staff necessary in order to run an organization or service.  
ADJ n  
Only a skeleton staff remains to show anyone interested around the site.     
3       n-count   The skeleton of something such as a building or a plan is its basic framework.  
usu N of n  
Only skeletons of buildings remained.     
4    If you say that someone has a skeleton in the closet, or in British English a skeleton in the cupboard, you mean that they are keeping secret a bad or embarrassing fact about themselves.  
a skeleton in the cupboard/a skeleton in the closet      phrase   Ns inflect  
Mr Worthing is this election's Mr Nice Guy, without any skeletons in his cupboard.     


skeleton key        ( skeleton keys    plural  ) A skeleton key is a key which has been specially made so that it will open many different locks.      n-count  

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