elbow

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English[edit]

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Wikipedia
An elbow joint.
Knot components.

Etymology[edit]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

elbow (plural elbows)

  1. (anatomy) The joint between the upper arm and the forearm.
    Synonym: elbow joint
    • 1627, Michael Drayton, “The Moone-Calfe”, in English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition[1], archived from the original on 19 July 2016:
      Up to the elbowes naked were there Armes.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set[2]:
      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. (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; []
  3. (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.
  4. (basketball) Part of a basketball court located at the intersection of the free-throw line and the free-throw lane.[1]
  5. A hit with the elbow.
  6. (knots) Two nearby crossings of a rope.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. To push with the elbow or elbows; to forge ahead using the elbows to assist.
    He elbowed his way through the crowd.
    • 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “(please specify the chapter number)”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
      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.)
  2. To strike with the elbow.
    • 1953, George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin, McGraw Hill Books Company, Inc., published 1954, page 166:
      Trumper elbowed me in the ribs and made a sign with his head. He seemed irritated now by our delay.
    • 1975, Marjorie Darke, A Question of Courage, Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Kestrel Books, →ISBN, page 108:
      She looked round for Vera, but could not see her, and in the process of wriggling through the heaving crowd was elbowed in the eye. The blow acted like a spur, putting one thought in her head . . . to escape.
    • 2001 November 24, Mil Millington, “Things my girlfriend and I argue about”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian[4], London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2021-02-10:
      Anyway, Margret is already asleep. I put my head on the pillow and am just about to inch warmth-seekingly closer to her when she suddenly elbows me full in the face with stupefying force. My howl of pain wakes her and she glances over her shoulder at her elbow, still embedded in my skull.
    • 2022 May 4, Tania Ganguli, “Against Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors Feel Range of Emotions”, in The New York Times[5], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2022-12-20:
      Green also left the game in the first quarter after Xavier Tillman inadvertently elbowed him in the face. Hearing boos from the crowd, [Draymond] Green raised his middle fingers toward the fans as he left the court to get stitches above his right eye.
  3. 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.
  4. (with "out" or "aside") To make someone quit or lose their job so that someone else can get it.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

Anagrams[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

elbow

  1. Alternative form of elbowe