limber

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English[edit]

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.
    • Turberville
      The bargeman that doth row with long and limber oar.
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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.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Richardson to this entry?)
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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.
  2. (Should we delete(+) this sense?) (obsolete) A two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle used to pull an artillery piece into battle.
  3. (Should we delete(+) this sense?) (military) The detachable fore part of a gun carriage, consisting of two wheels, an axle, and a shaft to which the horses are attached. On top is an ammunition box upon which the cannoneers sit.
    • 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.
  4. (in the plural) The shafts or thills of a wagon or carriage.
  5. (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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