limber

1
[lim-ber]
See more synonyms for limber on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to make oneself limber (usually followed by up): to limber up before the game.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make (something) limber (usually followed by up): She tried to limber up her wits before the exam.

Origin of limber

1
First recorded in 1555–65; perhaps akin to limb1
Related formslim·ber·ly, adverblim·ber·ness, noun

Synonyms for limber

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2. pliable. See flexible.

Antonyms for limber

1, 2. stiff. 2. rigid, unbending.

limber

2
[lim-ber]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)
  1. to attach the limber to (a gun) in preparation for moving away (sometimes followed by up).
verb (used without object)
  1. to attach a limber to a gun (usually followed by up).

Origin of limber

2
1400–50; late Middle English lymo(u)r pole of a vehicle. See limb1, -er1

limber

3
[lim-ber]
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 of limber

3
1620–30; perhaps < French lumière hole, light < Late Latin lūmināria; see luminaria
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for limber

Contemporary Examples of limber

Historical Examples of limber

  • Any woman may fall a victim to a limber, manly, and courteous bow.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • He got under way like a man on stilts, and he was about as limber as a pair of fire-tongs.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • You can have plenty of time to limber your wing; the scrub won't object to that.

  • The guns stopped, the men got down from limber and caisson, the horses were unhitched.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Either we will gloriously take them, or they will limber up and scamper after Jackson.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston


British Dictionary definitions for limber

limber

1
adjective
  1. capable of being easily bent or flexed; pliant
  2. able to move or bend freely; agile
Derived Formslimberly, adverblimberness, noun

Word Origin for limber

C16: origin uncertain

limber

2
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
  1. (usually foll by up) to attach the limber (to a gun, etc)

Word Origin for limber

C15 lymour shaft of a gun carriage, origin uncertain

limber

3
noun
  1. (often plural) 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 for limber

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

Word Origin and History for 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