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an elbow


PIE roots

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).



elbow ‎(plural elbows)

  1. The joint between the upper arm and the forearm.
    • Robert of Gloucester (fl.c.1260-c.1300)
      her arms to the elbows naked
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, 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."
  2. 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
  3. (US, obsolete, 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.
  4. (basketball) Part of a basketball court located at the intersection of the free-throw line and the free-throw lane.[1]

Derived termsEdit



elbow ‎(third-person singular simple present elbows, present participle elbowing, simple past and past participle elbowed)

  1. To push with the elbow; to jostle or force.
    He elbowed his way through the crowd.


See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Newell, Pete; Nater, Swen (2008). Pete Newell's Playing Big. Human Kinetics. p.26: ISBN 9780736068093. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
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