adjective, limp·er, limp·est.

lacking stiffness or firmness, as of substance, fiber, structure, or bodily frame: a limp body.
lacking vitality; weary; tired; fatigued: Limp with exhaustion, she dropped into the nearest chair.
without firmness, force, energy, etc., as of character: limp, spiritless prose.
flexible; not stiff or rigid: a Bible in a limp leather binding.

Nearby words

  1. limonite,
  2. limonitic,
  3. limousin,
  4. limousine,
  5. limousine liberal,
  6. limp wrist,
  7. limp-wristed,
  8. limpet,
  9. limpid,
  10. limpidity

Origin of limp

1700–10; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Icelandic limpa slackness, limpilegur soft, flabby

1. flabby, flaccid, soft. 2, 3. feeble, weak.

Related formslimp·ly, adverblimp·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for limply

British Dictionary definitions for limply



verb (intr)

to walk with an uneven step, esp with a weak or injured leg
to advance in a labouring or faltering manner


an uneven walk or progress
Derived Formslimper, nounlimping, adjective, nounlimpingly, adverb

Word Origin for limp

C16: probably a back formation from obsolete limphalt lame, from Old English lemphealt; related to Middle High German limpfen to limp




not firm or stiff
not energetic or vital
(of the binding of a book) not stiffened with boards
Derived Formslimply, adverblimpness, noun

Word Origin for limp

C18: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Icelandic limpa looseness

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 limply
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for limply




An irregular, jerky, or awkward gait; a claudication.


To walk lamely, especially with irregularity, as if favoring one leg.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.