Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “skeleton crew”

skeleton crew

noun [C]  /ˈskel·ɪ·tən ˌkru/ (also skeleton staff,    /ˈskel·ɪ·tən ˌstæf/)
the smallest number of people needed to keep a business or organization operating : On weekends the hospital has a skeleton staff.
(Definition of skeleton crew noun from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of skeleton crew

Word of the Day

best man

a male friend or relation of the bridegroom who stands with him and helps him during a marriage ceremony

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More