[Gk. skeletos, dried.] The bony framework of an animal body. That of the human body is composed of 246 separate bones. At the joints the bones are joined together by bands of a sub-stance like gristle. The use of the skeleton is to form a foundation-a kind of stiff framework- on which the rest of the body can be built up. The bones of the head enclose and protect the brain ; the bones of the trunk perform a similar office for the organs situated in the chest and the abdomen; the bones in the limbs impart rigidity to them, and aid us in performing work and in moving about. (See Bone.)