English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈlɪmbə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪmbə(ɹ)

Etymology 1 edit

Unknown; possibly related to limb or limp.

Adjective edit

limber (comparative limberer, superlative limberest)

  1. Flexible, pliant, bendable.
    He's so limber that he can kiss his knee without bending it.
    • 1567, George Turberville, “A Myrrour of the fall of Pride”, in Epitaphs, Epigrams, Songs and Sonnets, page 155:
      Not yet the bargeman that doth rowe / with long and limber oare
    • 1998, Joel and Ethan Coen, The Big Lebowski (motion picture), spoken by The Dude (Jeff Bridges):
      This is a very complicated case, Maude. A lot of ins, a lot of outs. Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict drug regimen to keep my mind limber.
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Verb edit

limber (third-person singular simple present limbers, present participle limbering, simple past and past participle limbered)

  1. To cause to become limber; to make flexible or pliant.
    • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to VII), London: [] S[amuel] Richardson;  [], →OCLC:
      Her stiff hams, that have not been bent to a civility for ten years past, are now limbered into courtesies three deep at every word
    • 1990, LOOM hint book, p. 12
      Go back to the Island and limber up with a few drafts.
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

 
a limber attached to a field artillery piece and an artillery tractor

For the obsolete limmer, from Old Norse limar (branches), plural of lim.[1]

Noun edit

limber (plural limbers)

  1. (military) A two-wheeled vehicle to which a wheeled artillery piece or caisson may be attached for transport.
    • 1898, H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann, page 83:
      As the limber gunners went to the rear, his horse trod in a rabbit-hole and came down, throwing him into a depression of the ground.
    • 1985, Peter Carey, Illywhacker, Faber and Faber, published 2003, page 29:
      we covered the rutted, rattling, dusty pot-holed roads of coastal Victoria, six big Walers in front, the cannon at the rear, and that unsprung cart they called a ‘limber’ in the middle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Rudyard Kipling to this entry?)
  2. (in the plural) The shafts or thills of a wagon or carriage.
  3. (nautical, in the plural) Gutters or conduits on each side of the keelson to allow water to pass to the pump well.
Usage notes edit
  • Sometimes the plural limbers was used to refer to a single such vehicle.
Translations edit

Verb edit

limber (third-person singular simple present limbers, present participle limbering, simple past and past participle limbered)

  1. (obsolete) To prepare an artillery piece for transportation (i.e., to attach it to its limber.)
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Anagrams edit