1. (archeology) the earliest known period of human culture, characterized by the use of stone implements
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Stone \Stone\, n. [OE. ston, stan, AS. st[=a]n; akin to OS. &
OFries. st[=e]n, D. steen, G. stein, Icel. steinn, Sw. sten,
Dan. steen, Goth. stains, Russ. stiena a wall, Gr. ?, ?, a
pebble. [root]167. Cf. Steen.]
1. Concreted earthy or mineral matter; also, any particular
mass of such matter; as, a house built of stone; the boy
threw a stone; pebbles are rounded stones. "Dumb as a
They had brick for stone, and slime . . . for
mortar. --Gen. xi. 3.
Note: In popular language, very large masses of stone are
called rocks; small masses are called stones; and the
finer kinds, gravel, or sand, or grains of sand. Stone
is much and widely used in the construction of
buildings of all kinds, for walls, fences, piers,
abutments, arches, monuments, sculpture, and the like.
2. A precious stone; a gem. "Many a rich stone." --Chaucer.
"Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels." --Shak.
3. Something made of stone. Specifically:
(a) The glass of a mirror; a mirror. [Obs.]
Lend me a looking-glass;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why, then she lives. --Shak.
(b) A monument to the dead; a gravestone. --Gray.
Should some relenting eye
Glance on the where our cold relics lie. --Pope.
4. (Med.) A calculous concretion, especially one in the
kidneys or bladder; the disease arising from a calculus.
5. One of the testes; a testicle. --Shak.
6. (Bot.) The hard endocarp of drupes; as, the stone of a
cherry or peach. See Illust. of Endocarp.
7. A weight which legally is fourteen pounds, but in practice
varies with the article weighed. [Eng.]
Note: The stone of butchers' meat or fish is reckoned at 8
lbs.; of cheese, 16 lbs.; of hemp, 32 lbs.; of glass, 5
8. Fig.: Symbol of hardness and insensibility; torpidness;
insensibility; as, a heart of stone.
I have not yet forgot myself to stone. --Pope.
9. (Print.) A stand or table with a smooth, flat top of
stone, commonly marble, on which to arrange the pages of a
book, newspaper, etc., before printing; -- called also
Note: Stone is used adjectively or in composition with other
words to denote made of stone, containing a stone or
stones, employed on stone, or, more generally, of or
pertaining to stone or stones; as, stone fruit, or
stone-fruit; stone-hammer, or stone hammer; stone
falcon, or stone-falcon. Compounded with some
adjectives it denotes a degree of the quality expressed
by the adjective equal to that possessed by a stone;
as, stone-dead, stone-blind, stone-cold, stone-still,
Atlantic stone, ivory. [Obs.] "Citron tables, or Atlantic
Bowing stone. Same as Cromlech. --Encyc. Brit.
Meteoric stones, stones which fall from the atmosphere, as
after the explosion of a meteor.
Philosopher's stone. See under Philosopher.
Rocking stone. See Rocking-stone.
Stone age, a supposed prehistoric age of the world when
stone and bone were habitually used as the materials for
weapons and tools; -- called also flint age. The bronze
age succeeded to this.
Stone bass (Zool.), any one of several species of marine
food fishes of the genus Serranus and allied genera, as
Serranus Couchii, and Polyprion cernium of Europe; --
called also sea perch.
Stone biter (Zool.), the wolf fish.
Stone boiling, a method of boiling water or milk by
dropping hot stones into it, -- in use among savages.
Stone borer (Zool.), any animal that bores stones;
especially, one of certain bivalve mollusks which burrow
in limestone. See Lithodomus, and Saxicava.
Stone bramble (Bot.), a European trailing species of
bramble (Rubus saxatilis).
Stone-break. [Cf. G. steinbrech.] (Bot.) Any plant of the
genus Saxifraga; saxifrage.
Stone bruise, a sore spot on the bottom of the foot, from a
bruise by a stone.
Stone canal. (Zool.) Same as Sand canal, under Sand.
Stone cat (Zool.), any one of several species of small
fresh-water North American catfishes of the genus
Noturus. They have sharp pectoral spines with which they
inflict painful wounds.
Stone coal, hard coal; mineral coal; anthracite coal.
Stone coral (Zool.), any hard calcareous coral.
Stone crab. (Zool.)
(a) A large crab (Menippe mercenaria) found on the
southern coast of the United States and much used as
(b) A European spider crab (Lithodes maia).
Stone crawfish (Zool.), a European crawfish (Astacus
torrentium), by many writers considered only a variety of
the common species (Astacus fluviatilis).
Stone curlew. (Zool.)
(a) A large plover found in Europe (Edicnemus
crepitans). It frequents stony places. Called also
thick-kneed plover or bustard, and thick-knee.
(b) The whimbrel. [Prov. Eng.]
(c) The willet. [Local, U.S.]
Stone crush. Same as Stone bruise, above.
Stone eater. (Zool.) Same as Stone borer, above.
Stone falcon (Zool.), the merlin.
Stone fern (Bot.), a European fern (Asplenium Ceterach)
which grows on rocks and walls.
Stone fly (Zool.), any one of many species of
pseudoneuropterous insects of the genus Perla and allied
genera; a perlid. They are often used by anglers for bait.
The larvae are aquatic.
Stone fruit (Bot.), any fruit with a stony endocarp; a
drupe, as a peach, plum, or cherry.
Stone grig (Zool.), the mud lamprey, or pride.
Stone hammer, a hammer formed with a face at one end, and a
thick, blunt edge, parallel with the handle, at the other,
-- used for breaking stone.
Stone hawk (Zool.), the merlin; -- so called from its habit
of sitting on bare stones.
Stone jar, a jar made of stoneware.
Stone lily (Paleon.), a fossil crinoid.
Stone lugger. (Zool.) See Stone roller, below.
Stone marten (Zool.), a European marten (Mustela foina)
allied to the pine marten, but having a white throat; --
called also beech marten.
Stone mason, a mason who works or builds in stone.
Stone-mortar (Mil.), a kind of large mortar formerly used
in sieges for throwing a mass of small stones short
Stone oil, rock oil, petroleum.
Stone parsley (Bot.), an umbelliferous plant (Seseli
Labanotis). See under Parsley.
Stone pine. (Bot.) A nut pine. See the Note under Pine,
Stone pit, a quarry where stones are dug.
Stone pitch, hard, inspissated pitch.
Stone plover. (Zool.)
(a) The European stone curlew.
(b) Any one of several species of Asiatic plovers of the
genus Esacus; as, the large stone plover (Esacus
(c) The gray or black-bellied plover. [Prov. Eng.]
(d) The ringed plover.
(e) The bar-tailed godwit. [Prov. Eng.] Also applied to
other species of limicoline birds.
Stone roller. (Zool.)
(a) An American fresh-water fish (Catostomus nigricans)
of the Sucker family. Its color is yellowish olive,
often with dark blotches. Called also stone lugger,
stone toter, hog sucker, hog mullet.
(b) A common American cyprinoid fish (Campostoma
anomalum); -- called also stone lugger.
Stone's cast, or Stone's throw, the distance to which a
stone may be thrown by the hand; as, they live a stone's
throw from each other.
Stone snipe (Zool.), the greater yellowlegs, or tattler.
Stone toter. (Zool.)
(a) See Stone roller
(b) A cyprinoid fish (Exoglossum maxillingua) found in
the rivers from Virginia to New York. It has a
three-lobed lower lip; -- called also cutlips.
To leave no stone unturned, to do everything that can be
done; to use all practicable means to effect an object.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (archeology) the earliest known period of human culture,
characterized by the use of stone implements
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
1. In computer folklore, an ill-defined period from ENIAC (ca. 1943) to the
mid-1950s; the great age of electromechanical dinosaurs. Sometimes used
for the entire period up to 1960--61 (see Iron Age); however, it is
funnier and more descriptive to characterize the latter period in terms of
a ?Bronze Age? era of transistor-logic, pre-ferrite-core machines with
drum or CRT mass storage (as opposed to just mercury delay lines and/or
relays). See also Iron Age.
How things weren't in the Stone Age.
2. More generally, a pejorative for any crufty, ancient piece of hardware
or software technology. Note that this is used even by people who were
there for the Stone Age (sense 1).
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
In computer folklore, an ill-defined period from
ENIAC (ca. 1943) to the mid-1950s; the great age of
electromechanical dinosaurs. Sometimes used for the entire
period up to 1960-61 (see Iron Age); however, it is more
descriptive to characterise the latter period in terms of a
"Bronze Age" era of transistor-logic, pre-ferrite core
memory machines with drum or CRT mass storage (as opposed
to just mercury delay lines and/or relays).
More generally, the term is used pejoratively for ancient
hardware or software, even by survivors from the Stone Age.