Students of the human frame say that they never saw such a wealth of looseness and limberness lavished upon one person.
And the limberness has gone out of my fingers as out of my mind.
But age had not impaired the brightness of her eyes, nor the limberness of her tongue, nor her shrewd good sense.
Grandma Padgett took it in her hands, reduced its length and tried its limberness.
Then he recovered and tried to fight, but could do nothing, being a weak cripple, and was literally beaten into limberness.
"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."
"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."
1748, from limber (adj.). Related: Limbered; limbering.