[ lim-ber ]
/ ˈlɪm bər /


characterized by ease in bending the body; supple; lithe.
bending readily; flexible; pliant.

verb (used without object)

to make oneself limber (usually followed by up): to limber up before the game.

verb (used with object)

to make (something) limber (usually followed by up): She tried to limber up her wits before the exam.

Nearby words

  1. limb lead,
  2. limb-girdle muscular dystrophy,
  3. limba,
  4. limbate,
  5. limbed,
  6. limber hole,
  7. limber pine,
  8. limber up,
  9. limberly,
  10. limberneck

Origin of limber

First recorded in 1555–65; perhaps akin to limb1

Related formslim·ber·ly, adverblim·ber·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for limberness

  • But age had not impaired the brightness of her eyes, nor the limberness of her tongue, nor her shrewd good sense.

    On Horseback|Charles Dudley Warner
  • Grandma Padgett took it in her hands, reduced its length and tried its limberness.

    Old Caravan Days|Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • And the limberness has gone out of my fingers as out of my mind.

    Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
  • Students of the human frame say that they never saw such a wealth of looseness and limberness lavished upon one person.

    Remarks|Bill Nye

British Dictionary definitions for limberness


/ (ˈlɪmbə) /


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

Word Origin for limber

C16: origin uncertain


/ (ˈlɪmbə) /


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


(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


/ (ˈlɪmbə) /


(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 limberness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper