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From Middle English elbowe, from Old English elboga, elnboga (“elbow”), from Proto-Germanic *alinabugô (“elbow”), equivalent to ell + bow. Cognate with Scots elbuck (“elbow”), Saterland Frisian Älbooge (“elbow”), Dutch elleboog (“elbow”), Low German Ellebage (“elbow”), German Ellbogen, Ellenbogen (“elbow”), Danish albue (“elbow”), Icelandic olbogi, olnbogi (“elbow”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɛlbəʊ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɛlboʊ/, [ˈɛɫboʊ]
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛlbəʊ, -ɛlboʊ
- Hyphenation: el‧bow
elbow (plural elbows)
- (anatomy) The joint between the upper arm and the forearm.
- 1627, Michael Drayton, “The Moone-Calfe”, in English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition:
- Up to the elbowes naked were there Armes.
- 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set:
- Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
- Synonym: elbow joint
(by extension) Any turn or bend like that of the elbow, in a wall, building, coastline, etc.; an angular or jointed part of any structure, such as the raised arm of a chair or sofa, or a short pipe fitting, turning at an angle or bent.
- the sides of windows, where the jamb makes an elbow with the window back
1869, Richard Doddridge Blackmore, Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor
- The water runs down with a strong, sharp stickle, and then has a sudden elbow in it, where the small brook trickles in; and on that side the bank is steep, four or it may be five feet high, overhanging loamily; […]
(US, dated, early 20th-century slang) A detective.
- 1924, Dashiell Hammett, Zigzags of Treachery:
- "An elbow, huh?" putting all the contempt he could in his voice; and somehow any synonym for detective seems able to hold a lot of contempt.
- (basketball) Part of a basketball court located at the intersection of the free-throw line and the free-throw lane.
- A hit with the elbow.
- 2018 June 18, Phil McNulty, “Tunisia 1 – 2 England”, in BBC Sport, archived from the original on 21 April 2019:
- England ran Tunisia ragged in that spell but were punished for missing a host of chances when Ferjani Sassi equalised from the penalty spot against the run of play after Kyle Walker was penalised for an elbow on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef.
- (knots) Two nearby crossings of a rope.
- at the elbow
- bend one's elbow
- bump elbows
- crook one's elbow
- elbow bone
- elbow bump
- elbow chair
- elbow grease
- elbow juice
- elbow macaroni
- elbow relation
- elbow room
- elbow scissors
- get the elbow
- give the elbow
- golfer's elbow
- know one's ass from one's elbow
- miner's elbow
- more power to your elbow
- out at elbow
- rub elbows
- shake one's elbow
- street elbow
- tennis elbow
joint between upper arm and forearm
a hit with the elbow
elbow (third-person singular simple present elbows, present participle elbowing, simple past and past participle elbowed)
(transitive) To push with the elbow or elbows; to forge ahead using the elbows to assist.
- He elbowed his way through the crowd.
- 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist:
- Through the crush Malone and Roxton elbowed their way until they reached Challenger's side, and partly by judicious propulsion, partly by artful persuasion, they got him, still bellowing his grievances, out of the building.
- 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 277:
- On the DLR, or on the driverless Line 14 on the Paris Metro, I always try to sit at the front. (It's usually just a matter of elbowing aside some ten-year-old boys; I can then get on with pretending to drive the train.)
(transitive, by extension) To nudge, jostle or push.
- 1993, Dana Stabenow, A Fatal Thaw, →ISBN, page 105:
- Suddenly and with all her heart Kate longed to be home, back at the homestead, to participate in the rambunctious toss and jostle as breakup elbowed its way into the Park.
- (transitive, with "out" or "aside") To make someone quit or lose their job so that someone else can get it.
to push with the elbow
- ^ Newell, Pete; Nater, Swen (2008). Pete Newell's Playing Big. Human Kinetics. p.26: ISBN 9780736068093. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- Alternative form of elbowe
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *Heh₃l-
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *bʰewgʰ-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms inherited from Old English
- English terms derived from Old English
- English terms inherited from Proto-Germanic
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English 2-syllable words
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- Rhymes:English/ɛlbəʊ/2 syllables
- Rhymes:English/ɛlboʊ/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
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- American English
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- Middle English lemmas
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