Definition of stone in English:


See synonyms for stone

Translate stone into Spanish


  • 1Hard solid nonmetallic mineral matter of which rock is made, especially as a building material.

    ‘the houses are built of stone’
    • ‘high stone walls’
    • ‘Once again it started with the expensive building of tall, solid stone buildings, engines, pumps, boilers and a chimney.’
    • ‘Because cement is such a dense, hard material it puts stone under pressure, cracks it and allows water to seep into the interior.’
    • ‘Nearby were high-status buildings made of stone with plastered walls and more humble structures on the outskirts of the city.’
    • ‘The architects collaborated with a stone mason to explore new possibilities of stone as a building material.’
    • ‘Eventually we got everyone onto the roof of the greengrocer's next door - it's a good solid stone building.’
    • ‘Its walls are made of solid stone blocks weighing over sixty tons each.’
    • ‘German settlers in the area first recognized the value of this stone as a building material.’
    • ‘In areas where wood was scarce, e.g. many of the Northern Isles, some buildings had stone or turf walls.’
    • ‘Older masonry and stone buildings have a tendency to fall down or suffer extensive damage during an earthquake.’
    • ‘The purpose is to create educational materials about Bulgaria's unique historical stone monuments and buildings.’
    • ‘The most handsome and timeless of materials is stone such as marble, granite, limestone, or slate.’
    • ‘All materials - concrete, stone, rusting steel and timber - are solid and untreated.’
    • ‘After that you get a good view of this medium sized valley, paralleling it for miles on a stone track.’
    • ‘Honed stone floors provide natural slip resistance and connect the room visually with the pool deck, speced in the same material.’
    • ‘Although tile or natural stone works best with these systems, you can use many of them under wood, vinyl, and even carpeting.’
    • ‘About five years later he was attracted to the natural beauty of stone and he became a highly original exponent of direct carving in this medium.’
    • ‘The museum was built with Kosota rock, a natural, cream-colored stone from southeastern Minnesota.’
    • ‘The temple is built on a foundation of natural stone with four large natural stones at the corners of the base.’
    • ‘The five new homes will be built in local stone with natural slate roofs.’
    • ‘Manors were built of natural stone and they were built to last.’
    1. 1.1Used in similes and metaphors to refer to weight or lack of feeling, expression, or movement.
      ‘Isabel stood as if turned to stone’
      • ‘the elevator dropped like a stone’
      • ‘her face became as hard as stone’
      • ‘She came around and faced her mother, her expression as hard as stone.’
      • ‘She set her face in stone, an expression she had reserved for her hanging, as she was tied, not struggling, to a chain on a pulley.’
      • ‘She remained as still as stone, her expression as unreadable as the message in the stars behind her Dwarven veil.’
      • ‘Her mouth fell open and his face held an expression of stone.’
      • ‘Her haughty expression turned into stone at the mentioning of her father's advisor's name.’
      • ‘Her face, however, could have been carved of stone for the lack of emotion on it.’
      • ‘Now she might well have been born in this city, but you could sit as still as stone for a very long time waiting for her to chip in an opinion on life in York today.’
      • ‘She turned her attention warily to her father, who sat mounted in front of her, wearing an expression of stone, and let her smile drop.’
      • ‘His expression was as cool and his voice as hard as stone.’
      • ‘Those who have hearts of stone are naturally showing their love for stones.’
      • ‘Fragments burst into the air, but the man himself hit the ground like a stone.’
      • ‘She held up a hand, stopping it dead midway through, and it dropped like a stone, hitting the ground with a thud and lying like a dead animal.’
      • ‘That's why the dividing interviews were so important, even if they lie like stones in the game structure.’
      • ‘Though his eyes were hard as stone, his voice had taken on something of a gentle tone.’
    2. 1.2A small piece of rock found on the ground.
      ‘First he put a bunch of stones in a big fire, then he put the stones in a pit dug in the ground, put stones over the top, and covered it with moss, sticks and sand.’
      • ‘There were little white stones laid on the ground where we had plants growing and we had no idea about who was doing it.’
      • ‘The real world - the mud on the ground, the stones, the sprouting grass - are not captured by the street name.’
      • ‘The sculptures were secured to the ground by stones in her back garden on Arcadian Close, Bexley, along with other garden furniture.’
      • ‘Small piles of stones marked the ground in straight, even rows.’
      • ‘The border markings consisted of small stones imbedded in the ground that went north and south in a very irregular pattern.’
      • ‘He kneeled gently on the earthy floor and took a stick from the ground, and cleared the ground of stones and other obtrusions.’
      • ‘Grant grabbed a few stones from the ground and slowly tossed them in.’
      • ‘I was carrying my coat under my arm and kicked stones lying on the ground.’
      • ‘He expects this to be an extended and tediously boring period of waiting around with nothing for him to do but kick at stones lying on the ground.’
      • ‘On mixed ground where you have stones and patches of sand, try half a small sandeel, which I've found good for the biggies.’
      • ‘All were created by clearing the ground surface of stones to reveal a light-coloured soil beneath.’
      • ‘Finally he shook his head and plucked a stone from the ground.’
      • ‘There was a medium-sized stone on the ground close to the crate.’
      • ‘Brett looked back, and abruptly tripped on a stone jutting from the ground.’
      • ‘With a cry I tripped on a small stone on the ground and went down, slamming into the dirt with my hands.’
      • ‘She looked at her feet, playing with a stone on the ground.’
      • ‘The ground is littered with rocks, stones and bottles thrown by protestors.’
      • ‘To make sure that the roots stay submerged, tie them gently with a piece of string that has been weighted with a stone.’
      • ‘A gang of youngsters is terrorising bus drivers by throwing stones, bricks and pieces of concrete at buses and smashing windows as they approach the outskirts of Leeds.’
      rock, pebble, boulder
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Astronomy A meteorite made of rock, as opposed to metal.
      ‘There are three basic types of meteorites: stones, stony-irons, and irons.’
      • ‘After the appearance of a fireball, followed by detonations, a stone of about 50 lb, which had struck an oak tree, was found 2 miles from Pine Bluff and 10 miles from Little Piney.’
    4. 1.4Medicine A calculus; a gallstone or kidney stone.
      ‘Ultrasonography showed multiple stones in the left kidney.’
      • ‘The risk of kidney and urinary stones was higher both before and after surgery in those undergoing surgery’
      • ‘In one case plain radiography misdiagnosed a stone not seen on intravenous urography.’
      • ‘The remaining 10 percent of gallstones are pigmented stones, which have less than 20 percent cholesterol.’
      • ‘It can rule out or diagnose obstructions, developmental abnormalities, tumors, and stones in the kidneys and urinary tract.’
  • 2A piece of stone shaped for a purpose, especially one of commemoration, ceremony, or demarcation.

    ‘a memorial stone’
    • ‘boundary stones’
    • ‘The Korean Irish Memorial Committee are determined to set up a memorial stone to commemorate the 28 Irishmen that were killed in Korea.’
    • ‘Then there's a film show on Southsea Common, a display of historic military vehicles, a commemorative website and a ceremony at the D-Day stone.’
    • ‘A tree planting ceremony followed, before a commemorative stone was laid in memory of the deceased.’
    • ‘Zuma unveiled a memorial stone commemorating the 69 people who were shot dead.’
    • ‘And in all this surely resides the meaning of Borne frontiere, and its universal validity as a model for all demarcation stones.’
    • ‘In the floor, close to the monument, is the stone commemorating Shakespeare's widow.’
    • ‘He had traced and listed 1,450 stones, ranging from late Neolithic and medieval crosses to estate boundary stones, wearing out four pairs of boots in the process.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, as memorial stones to mark the anniversary were unveiled in the garden, the designer said he was proud to have been associated with the project.’
    • ‘It cost £1, 700 and the first of 26 memorial stones was unveiled.’
    • ‘The Parish Council has approved a design for boundary stones for the parish, estimates of the cost of erecting these are now being obtained.’
    • ‘The vases and memorial stones which had been carefully placed by families over the cremated remains of their loved ones were moved to a far wall.’
    • ‘It is one of 89 listed milestones, mileposts and boundary stones in Kirklees.’
    • ‘Officials had ordered memorial stones to be moved because the rules of the cemetery stated they were not allowed to be on the grass.’
    • ‘The memorial stones for the new Wesleyan Chapel at Langcliffe were laid.’
    • ‘The event was held to mark three Roman memorial stones being put back on show for the first time in three years as part of a new exhibition.’
    • ‘Brochures for memorial stones and smoke alarms were sent as well as cash-on-delivery parcels.’
    • ‘A spokesman yesterday said there was a growing concern over the safety of cemetery memorial stones.’
    • ‘Bolton Wanderers have a memorial book and memorial stones at the main entrance to the stadium.’
    • ‘The council has still not settled who will pay for the re-setting of the memorial stones.’
    • ‘The ashes are still in the ground where they should be, but they are not under the memorial stones.’
    gravestone, headstone, tombstone
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A gem or jewel.
      ‘a gold ring with a small dark red stone’
      • ‘Glue a turquoise stone or cabochon on the middle of the threads.’
      • ‘The dark red stones twinkle invitingly from many shop windows.’
      • ‘Some material contains so much chromium in its structure that the stones are dark red.’
      • ‘Several players who subsequently moved on have discovered that their baubles contained imitation zirconia stones rather than genuine diamonds.’
      • ‘It had five red stones, possibly rubies, on the intricate gold band.’
      • ‘Bohemia is known for its unusual crystal objects and deep red garnet stones.’
      • ‘Semi-precious stones like turquoise, amethyst, pearls and corals enhanced the look of most creations.’
      • ‘The special exhibit runs through 30 May and features cut and rough gem specimens as well as birthstones and synthetic stones.’
      • ‘She was wearing a gold ring with three red stones, and a wrist band with the name ‘Mary’ inscribed on it that may help identify her.’
      • ‘The stones used include red jasper, white oriental alabaster, yellow chalcedony, and green gabbro.’
      • ‘In addition to metals, Russia developed an extensive gemstone trade by importing stones into the country along the major trade routes.’
      • ‘Diamond-set petals cradle large turquoise, coral, or onyx stones to make dramatic, showstopping rings.’
      • ‘Particularly in the Saxon pagan period, gold jewellery was often inset with precious or semi-precious stones such as garnet.’
      • ‘There are three peridot stones, arranged in a triangle, with tiny little diamonds adorning it.’
      • ‘The combination of gold with creative materials, colourful precious stones and semi-precious stones is also very much in vogue.’
      • ‘Examples of consumers being stung include an internet shopper who bought a diamond ring for £995-half the usual price for a stone of its weight and size.’
      • ‘In particular he described a faceted stone weighing 125 carats that he said was as fine a gemstone as any yet produced in the United States.’
      • ‘The average grade of the deposit was reported to be only about 0.1 carat per ton with an average stone size of 0.26 carat.’
      • ‘The children found a large stone that weighed in at a spectacular 213/16 carats.’
      • ‘In the case of diamonds, colour actually refers to the stone's lack of colour.’
      gem, gemstone, jewel, precious stone, semi-precious stone, brilliant
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2
      short for curling stone
      ‘The contestants use brooms to sweep a path on the ice for a sliding stone.’
      • ‘However, to deliver a stone well, you should glide along with the stone as far as possible.’
      • ‘No matter how much you love the stone and broom game, when it takes priority in the biggest country in the Commonwealth, you can see why critics feel able to snipe.’
    3. 2.3A round piece or counter, originally made of stone, used in various board games such as backgammon.
      ‘One of their pastimes was to play skittles with round stones.’
      • ‘I have also replaced the dusty real stones with glass gaming stones.’
      • ‘On the coast, people play mbao, a board game that uses small stones.’
      • ‘If no player has a double (theoretically this can happen once in 700 games) the stones are put back and there is a new shuffle.’
      • ‘Once you get to the point where you're giving it 3 or 4 stones in a 9x9 game, it gets pretty difficult.’
      • ‘The less experienced player is given extra handicap stones at the beginning of the game.’
      • ‘The piece refers to an Asian strategy game usually played with polished black and white stones on a checkered game board.’
      • ‘An intricate, languorous game in which stones are moved on a board, Go is largely unknown outside Japan and parts of China.’
      • ‘Each stone scores the four adjacent tiles only, without any multipliers.’
      • ‘One player places one of his marking stones on the opposing King’
      • ‘Mancala variants can be played with pen and paper by drawing the basins as large as possible and the stones as small dots.’
      • ‘When one Moai reaches the finish line, you compare the number of stones in the first and second place Moai.’
      • ‘All the work getting to that goal may not advance your position at all and the extra stones are likely as not to hurt you.’
      • ‘The cardboard is sturdy, the bridges are wooden bits and there are glass marking stones.’
      • ‘The best Go stones are made of slate and clamshell and the quality and the grain on the clamshell matters.’
      • ‘At one end of the spectrum is Piet Hein's Hex, where a player can take exactly one action (place a stone on the board).’
      • ‘Each of the three players places a stone on the board in turn.’
    4. 2.4A large flat table or sheet, originally made of stone and later usually of metal, on which pages of type were made up.
      • ‘By the early 1820s, seven-color prints were produced in France, with a stone for each color used.’
  • 3A hard seed in a cherry, plum, peach, and some other fruits.

    ‘The ‘ricin factory’ consisted of castor oil, cherry stones and apple seeds, and some handwritten recipes for ricin.’
    • ‘He said he had asked him to help collect apple seeds and cherry stones - the raw ingredients for cyanide - and told him it was for use in making herbal medicine.’
    • ‘He collected cherry stones and apple seeds - the raw ingredients for cyanide - and had more than 20 castor beans which can be used to make ricin.’
    • ‘Fruits and vegetables were available at the time according to the discovery on the same site of fruit stones, nutshells and more stools containing leeks and other vegetable matter.’
    • ‘How would an identity card have prevented his acquiring his cherry stones or internet recipe?’
    • ‘It has a cherry stone with more faces carved on it than anyone else has ever bothered to manage.’
    • ‘In the visitor centre, artefacts taken from Oakbank are put on display, including a toggle, a pendant and cherry stones.’
    • ‘Add the cracked peach stones, but remove the inside kernels.’
    • ‘Next she gathers up the stones and other fruit debris that has been sitting on the counter, throws it in the bin, and scurries out of the kitchen.’
    • ‘Quarter each plum and place plums and their stones in a large preserving pan with lemon juice.’
    • ‘There was something strangely soothing about having my Aveda Himalayan treatment in a small cave with walls as porous as pumice and pitted as a peach stone.’
    • ‘In his parable, two old women climb the mount of Nelson's Pillar and start spitting plum stones on the Dubliners around them.’
    • ‘It can be made with almonds or the stones of peaches or apricots, as well as a variety of other spices.’
    • ‘Apparently, the stones of each plum variety have different markings.’
    • ‘Select very ripe apricots, remove the stones and reduce the fruit to a pulp.’
    • ‘He has rarely been stumped, save for the time when someone told him: ‘I planted a plum stone and an apple tree has grown.’’
    • ‘Remove the stones from the fruit (and the skin from the mango) and place the fruit in a food processor with a tablespoon of sugar.’
    • ‘Chop the dried fruit, removing any stones where necessary.’
    • ‘Halve the plums, remove the stones, then slice each half into four or six wedges, depending on their thickness.’
    • ‘Halve the apricots and peaches, remove the stones and place flesh-side down on a lightly oiled tray with a little of the honey smeared over it.’
    kernel, seed, pip, pit
    View synonyms
  • plural noun stone

    4British A unit of weight equal to 14 pounds (6.35 kg)

    ‘I weighed 10 stone’
    • ‘Among those who enlisted, a large proportion grew a couple of inches and added a stone in weight as a result of an Army diet.’
    • ‘Had my chilli chicken ramen weighed in at over a stone in weight?’
    • ‘Every gram seemed to weigh a stone by the end of an 18-mile day.’
    • ‘Recording the 1972 series resulted in his losing a stone in weight.’
    • ‘When he returned to the United States after 10 years in Scotland he gained a stone in weight.’
    • ‘His temperature has ceased to be irregular, and he has gained nearly a stone in weight.’
    • ‘On the D shift he's lost two and a half stone in weight and has not been sleeping properly.’
    • ‘In the middle he has brought in his old pal Steve, who has lost a stone in weight since the fag-end of his career at Hearts and, according to his boss, is in the sharpest fitness of his career.’
    • ‘He still has no feeling in his left arm, has lost a stone in weight, has trouble with his balance, is susceptible to headaches, dizzy spells and tingles down his spine, arms and legs.’
    • ‘The newspaper reported that he had followed doctors' advice to cut out snacks and eat regular meals, losing a stone in weight in the process.’
    • ‘I had lost a stone in weight but gained £16,000 for cancer research.’
    • ‘The temperature and the pace were so extreme that a passenger lost over half a stone in weight in the 40-minute race.’
    • ‘She has also said the emotional stress has made her shed half a stone in weight.’
    • ‘He said he had lost three and a half stone in weight in worry because of the court case.’
    • ‘That is why they will do their best to gain a stone in weight prior to their departure.’
    • ‘He weighs in at a massive stone and a half - 8.6 kilos - and his vet says he's never seen a cat so big in all his working life.’
    • ‘I lost about a stone weight in the ten days I was there.’
    • ‘I have never been diagnosed as anorexic but I went through a period of not eating much, during which time my weight went down to 6 and a half stone.’
    • ‘I have lost a stone and a half in weight since it happened.’
    • ‘At this stage I weighed 5 and a half stone and was only skin and bones but I still thought I was fat.’
  • 5A natural shade of whitish-gray or brownish-gray.

    as modifier ‘stone stretch trousers’
    • ‘The theme in the house seemed to be of neutral and warm shades like tan, stone brown and beige.’
    • ‘The easiest thing to do is to paint these in a natural green or stone colour.’
    • ‘The room beyond was unfurnished, decorated in shades of pale stone, and utterly deserted.’
    • ‘Purchase two suits in neutral colours such as stone, navy, black or brown.’
    • ‘Cool stone and moss hues provide the contrast to Moroccan-influenced red shades.’
    fawn, brownish yellow, pale brown, buff, sand, sandy, oatmeal, wheaten, biscuit, coffee, coffee-coloured, café au lait, camel, kasha, ecru, taupe, stone, stone-coloured, mushroom, putty, greige
    View synonyms



/stōn/ /stoʊn/

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Throw stones at.

    ‘three vehicles were stoned and torched’
    • ‘The crowd stoned policemen and beat a bus driver in Plovdiv late Monday, after the power was cut off.’
    • ‘A Bradford rioter claimed he tried to stop youths wrecking cars only minutes after being filmed throwing stones himself.’
    • ‘At an early court appearance, angry crowds stoned the police van escorting her.’
    • ‘The soldiers stood there as the group of about ten boys proceeded to stone us, hit us with sticks, and throw water at us from the soldiers' water bottle.’
    • ‘Militants loyal to Aristide crushed a similar antigovernment demonstration Thursday, stoning opponents and blocking the protest route.’
    • ‘Hundreds of angry Malawians hounded a senior political figure from his house and stoned him [though not fatally] late Wednesday, accusing him of harboring vampires.’
    • ‘"Every time that the van tried to move out, the mob stoned the van," he said.’
    • ‘Buses have been stoned or shot at, homes burned and livestock slaughtered.’
    • ‘Cars were set alight, buses were stoned and fireworks and bottles thrown at cars.’
    • ‘Nevertheless some gangs do occasionally break through to stone buses, houses and terrify old ladies.’
    • ‘There is absolutely no need to stone vehicles or beat up perceived political opponents.’
    • ‘"On Monday night the crews and vehicles were stoned from the flats.’
    • ‘Protests in the area spiralled out of control on Tuesday evening as vehicles were stoned.’
  • 2British Remove the stone from (a fruit)

    ‘halve, stone, and peel the avocados’
    • ‘Add grilled cherry tomatoes, stoned black olives, cavello nero and some fresh basil leaves.’
    • ‘Add a handful of black olives, stoned and roughly chopped, and a splash of white wine.’
    • ‘Rinse and stone the plums, removing any stalks as you go.’
    • ‘Halve and stone the avocados, sprinkle the dressing over the cut surfaces.’
    • ‘Halve and stone the apricots and put them, hollow side up, in a heatproof dish.’
    • ‘At each harvest the fresh weight and dry matter content of fruit flesh and stones were measured after peeling and stoning.’
    • ‘Hull strawberries, peel and slice mango, core and chop pears and halve and stone plums.’
    • ‘Halve, stone and peel the avocado and place a half on each pile of mesclun.’
    • ‘Fruit was washed, dried, and stoned if necessary; sugar, cut from loaves, had to be pounded and sieved; butter washed in water and rinsed in rosewater.’
    • ‘In the centre of each diamond shape place a stoned olive and anchovy.’
    • ‘Criss-cross the surface with strips of anchovy and put halves of stoned olives in the spaces.’
    • ‘Drain and season, add stoned small black olives.’
    • ‘Stone the olives, dropping each one into the mustard dressing as you go.’
    • ‘Stone the small black olives and toss in a little olive oil.’
  • 3Build, face, or pave with stone.

    as adjective, in combination -stoned ‘the honey-stoned, eighteenth-century city’
    • ‘Over another is a honey-stoned manor and a Grade 1-listed Gothic orangery.’
    • ‘They reentered the blinding sunlight into a cobble stoned courtyard where a group of horse topped men stood waiting.’
    • ‘He grabbed Leila's reins and brought her front legs back down to the cobble stoned street.’



/stōn/ /stoʊn/


    a stone's throw
    • A short distance.

      ‘wild whales blowing a stone's throw from the boat’
      • ‘The furthest patch of ground is only a stone's throw away from the Heritage Amphitheatre Stage and the sound quality of the venue is superb.’
      • ‘All three of them live within a stone's throw of each other in the Bradford area and if Yorkshire manage to restore their pride this season then the local trio will have had much to do with it.’
      • ‘Picture Strip malls, busy roads and fast food joints, all located within a stone's throw of the practice field.’
      • ‘Germany is the host and Poland is a stone's throw away from Hanover, site of their June 20 matchup.’
      • ‘But the problems at that club stem from a needless move to a new home a stone's throw from Filbert Street.’
      • ‘There are five hotels and at least 30 pubs within a stone's throw of the hotel.’
    be set in stone
    • Used to emphasize that something is fixed and unchangeable.

      ‘this pricing scheme is not set in stone and will likely change when the service has a full launch’
      • ‘anything can change—nothing is written in stone’
      • ‘Your training goals are not written in stone; changes should be made as necessary to work toward a common goal.’
      • ‘However, an RFL spokesman said ten teams per division was a minimum, not a fixed figure, while the new format was not yet set in stone.’
      • ‘While many thought that the current proposed standard was written in stone might have to change their minds and wait until the squabbling is over.’
      • ‘From what I've learned, the past is set in stone and we can't change it.’
      • ‘There seems to be a few set in stone, undeniable, eternal truths as to what the future will be like.’
      • ‘However, this is not set in stone, as the help the family requires changes all the time.’
      • ‘Somehow, along the way, it seemed that the ‘idea’ became written in stone and that the SLC Great Hall would expand accordingly.’
      • ‘Don't follow your itinerary as if written in stone.’
      • ‘It seems to me there is a sizeable swathe of British public opinion who regard modernity, radicalism and the like merely as an experiment, not as something that is here forever, written in stone.’
      • ‘He adds that that partnership is not written in stone.’
    cast the first stone
    • Be the first to make an accusation (used to emphasize that a potential critic is not wholly blameless).

      ‘There is a saying only he who is blameless may cast the first stone.’
      • ‘You don't get to play Christian on TV, or amass real political power along with your millions, by urging people not to throw the first stone, especially if they live in a glass house.’
      • ‘Mostly some pretext is generally made available or situation is such created that minorities are either cornered or threatened in such a way that they are forced to throw the first stone.’
      • ‘He said to them ‘Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.’’
      • ‘Many consider him the soul of decency, a good man of faith and dignity - a man who believes in loving thy neighbor as thyself and not casting the first stone.’
      • ‘The truth of the matter is that few, if any, of his accusers can safely cast the first stone when it comes to ‘anger management.’’
      • ‘Who is to point the first finger and cast the first stone?’
      • ‘Few governments attending the conference are really in a position to cast the first stone.’
      • ‘Anyway, regarding the Baylor president, those of us with total freedom to write any editorial we want regardless of the publisher's views may cast the first stone.’


      With biblical allusion to John 8:7.

    leave no stone unturned
    • Try every possible course of action in order to achieve something.

      ‘They have left no stone unturned to achieve this end.’
      • ‘The Corporation or municipality should give top priority to the improvement of the public health system and leave no stone unturned towards achieving their objective.’
      • ‘The developers are doing their bit in keeping the entrance to the site as tidy as possible and will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to comply with the requirements of the local committee.’
      • ‘He and his men are obviously leaving no stone unturned in having the best possible team available for the defence of the All Ireland crown with the winning of the Leinster title the first objective.’
      • ‘A successful mission analysis requires officers and soldiers who leave no stone unturned to discover the facts - especially the critical ones.’
      • ‘In these circumstances, I believe that the Government must leave no stone unturned, including the possibility of new legislation, should it be required.’
      • ‘In his attempt to leave no stone unturned, he carries on with narrative lanes that arrive, often abruptly, at a dead end, thereby disrupting the film's natural flow.’
      • ‘Members worked around the clock to achieve this breakthrough and will leave no stone unturned until the two outstanding escapees are back behind bars and not a threat to society.’
      • ‘Those involved in the Lisselton Culchie Festival Committee have left no stone unturned in their preparations for the big occasion and an awful lot of work has gone on behind the scenes ensuring that the event runs smoothly.’
      • ‘The Regional supremo left no stone unturned to ensure that each and every youngster enjoyed the experience and gained maximum benefit from the sterling work of the talented and dedicated coaches.’
    stone the crows!
    British informal
    • An exclamation of surprise or shock.

      • ‘Stone the crows, she's out of control!’
      • ‘Stone the crows, I can hardly wait to find out.’
      • ‘'Stone The Crows!', shouted the legendary manager, when he first heard this splendid young Scottish band roaring into action.’


Old English stān (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch steen and German Stein. The verb dates from Middle English (first recorded in stone (sense 1 of the verb)).