limber

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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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, 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.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

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.
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 2003, p. 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.
  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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Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ limber” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.