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elbow

[el-boh]
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noun
  1. the bend or joint of the human arm between upper arm and forearm.
  2. the corresponding joint in the forelimb of a quadruped.
  3. something bent like an elbow, as a sharp turn in a road or river, or a piece of pipe bent at an angle.
  4. Architecture. crossette.
  5. Also called ell, el. a plumbing pipe or pipe connection having a right-angled bend.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to push with or as if with the elbow; jostle.
  2. to make (one's way) by so pushing.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to elbow one's way: He elbowed through the crowd.
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Idioms
  1. at one's elbow, within easy reach; nearby: A virtue of the cottage is that the ocean is at your elbow.
  2. bend/lift/crook an elbow, Informal. to drink alcoholic beverages.
  3. give the elbow, shove aside, get rid of, or reject.
  4. out at the elbows,
    1. poorly dressed; shabby.
    2. impoverished.
    Also out at elbows.
  5. rub elbows with, to mingle socially with; associate with: a resort where royalty rubs elbows with the merely rich.
  6. up to one's elbows, very busy; engrossed: I am up to my elbows in answering mail.Also up to the elbows.
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Origin of elbow

before 1000; Middle English elbowe, Old English el(n)boga; cognate with Middle Dutch elle(n)bōghe, Old High German el(l)inbogo (German Ellenbogen), Old Norse ǫl(n)bogi; literally, “forearm-bend.” See ell2, bow1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for out at the elbows

elbow

noun
  1. the joint between the upper arm and the forearm, formed by the junction of the radius and ulna with the humerus
  2. the corresponding joint or bone of birds or mammals
  3. the part of a garment that covers the elbow
  4. something resembling an elbow, such as a sharp bend in a road or river
  5. at one's elbow within easy reach
  6. out at elbow or out at elbows ragged or impoverished
  7. up to the elbows with or up to the elbows in busily occupied with; deeply immersed in
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verb
  1. (tr) to reject; dismiss. Also: give the elbow
  2. to make (one's way) by shoving, jostling, etc
  3. (tr) to knock or shove with or as if with the elbow
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Word Origin

Old English elnboga; see ell ², bow ²; related to Old Norse olbogi, Old High German elinbogo
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 out at the elbows

elbow

v.

"thrust with the elbow," c.1600, from elbow (n.). Figurative sense is from 1863. Related: Elbowed; elbowing.

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elbow

n.

c.1200, elbowe, from Old English elnboga, from ell "length of the forearm" + boga "bow, arch," from West Germanic *alinobogan, from Proto-Germanic *elino-bugon, literally "bend of the forearm" (cf. Middle Dutch ellenboghe, Dutch elleboog, Old High German elinbogo, German Ellenbogen, Old Norse ölnbogi).

Second element related to Old English bugan "to bend" (see bow (v.)); first element from *alina "arm," from PIE *el- (1) "elbow, forearm" (see ell (n.1)). Phrase elbow grease "hard rubbing" is attested from 1670s, from jocular sense of "the best substance for polishing furniture." Elbow room attested from mid-16c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

out at the elbows in Medicine

elbow

(ĕlbō′)
n.
  1. The joint or bend of the arm between the forearm and the upper arm.cubitus
  2. The bony outer projection of this joint.
  3. Something having a bend or an angle similar to an elbow.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with out at the elbows

out at the elbows

Also, out at the heels or knees. Wearing clothes that are worn out or torn; poor. For example, When we last saw Phil he was out at the elbows. These expressions, dating from the late 1500s and early 1600s, can refer to clothes worn through at these points as well as to a person too poor to replace them.

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elbow

In addition to the idioms beginning with elbow

  • elbow grease
  • elbow room

also see:

  • at someone's elbow
  • crook one's elbow
  • out at the elbows
  • rub elbows with
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.