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limber2

[lim-ber] /ˈlɪm bər/ Military
noun
1.
a two-wheeled vehicle, originally pulled by four or six horses, behind which is towed a field gun or caisson.
verb (used with object)
2.
to attach the limber to (a gun) in preparation for moving away (sometimes followed by up).
verb (used without object)
3.
to attach a limber to a gun (usually followed by up).
Origin of limber2
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English lymo(u)r pole of a vehicle. See limb1, -er1

limber3

[lim-ber] /ˈlɪm bər/
noun
1.
Usually, limbers. Nautical. a passage or gutter in which seepage collects to be pumped away, located on each side of a central keelson; bilge.
Origin
1620-30; perhaps < French lumière hole, light < Late Latin lūmināria; see luminaria
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for limber's

limber1

/ˈlɪmbə/
adjective
1.
capable of being easily bent or flexed; pliant
2.
able to move or bend freely; agile
Derived Forms
limberly, adverb
limberness, noun
Word Origin
C16: origin uncertain

limber2

/ˈlɪmbə/
noun
1.
part of a gun carriage, often containing ammunition, consisting of an axle, pole, and two wheels, that is attached to the rear of an item of equipment, esp field artillery
verb
2.
(usually foll by up) to attach the limber (to a gun, etc)
Word Origin
C15 lymour shaft of a gun carriage, origin uncertain

limber3

/ˈlɪmbə/
noun
1.
(often pl) (nautical) (in the bilge of a vessel) a fore-and-aft channel through a series of holes in the frames (limber holes) where water collects and can be pumped out
Word Origin
C17: probably changed from French lumière hole (literally: light)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for limber's

limber

adj.

"pliant, flexible," 1560s, of uncertain origin, possibly from limb (n.1) on notion of supple boughs of a tree [Barnhart], or from limp "flaccid" [Skeat], or somehow from Middle English lymer "shaft of a cart" (see limber (n.)), but the late appearance of the -b- in that word argues against it. Related: Limberness. Dryden used limber-ham (see ham (n.1) in the "joint" sense) as a name for a character "perswaded by what is last said to him, and changing next word."

n.

"detachable forepart of a gun carriage," 1620s, from Middle English lymer (early 15c.), earlier lymon (c.1400), probably from Old French limon "shaft," a word perhaps of Celtic origin, or possibly from Germanic and related to limb (n.1). Hence, limber (v.) "to attach a limber to a gun" (1843). Cf. related Spanish limon "shaft," leman "helmsman."

v.

1748, from limber (adj.). Related: Limbered; limbering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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