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in limbo

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1

In a condition of oblivion or neglect, as in They kept her application in limbo for months. [Early 1600s]

2

An intermediate or transitional state, as in After his editor left the firm, his book was in limbo. [Early 1600s] Both usages allude to the theological meaning of limbo, that is, a place outside hell and heaven to which unbaptized infants and the righteous who died before Christ's coming were traditionally consigned.

QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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