- the bend or joint of the human arm between upper arm and forearm.
- the corresponding joint in the forelimb of a quadruped.
- something bent like an elbow, as a sharp turn in a road or river, or a piece of pipe bent at an angle.
- Architecture. crossette.
- Also called ell, el. a plumbing pipe or pipe connection having a right-angled bend.
- to push with or as if with the elbow; jostle.
- to make (one's way) by so pushing.
- to elbow one's way: He elbowed through the crowd.
- at one's elbow, within easy reach; nearby: A virtue of the cottage is that the ocean is at your elbow.
- bend/lift/crook an elbow, Informal. to drink alcoholic beverages.
- give the elbow, shove aside, get rid of, or reject.
- out at the elbows,
- poorly dressed; shabby.
- rub elbows with, to mingle socially with; associate with: a resort where royalty rubs elbows with the merely rich.
- up to one's elbows, very busy; engrossed: I am up to my elbows in answering mail.Also up to the elbows.
Origin of elbow
- the joint between the upper arm and the forearm, formed by the junction of the radius and ulna with the humerus
- the corresponding joint or bone of birds or mammals
- the part of a garment that covers the elbow
- something resembling an elbow, such as a sharp bend in a road or river
- at one's elbow within easy reach
- out at elbow or out at elbows ragged or impoverished
- up to the elbows with or up to the elbows in busily occupied with; deeply immersed in
- (tr) to reject; dismiss. Also: give the elbow
- to make (one's way) by shoving, jostling, etc
- (tr) to knock or shove with or as if with the elbow
Word Origin for elbow
"thrust with the elbow," c.1600, from elbow (n.). Figurative sense is from 1863. Related: Elbowed; elbowing.
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.
- The joint or bend of the arm between the forearm and the upper arm.cubitus
- The bony outer projection of this joint.
- Something having a bend or an angle similar to an elbow.
rub elbows with
Also, rub shoulders with. Mix or socialize with, as in There's nothing like rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, or At the reception diplomats were rubbing shoulders with heads of state. Both of these terms allude to being in close contact with someone. [Mid-1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with elbow
- elbow grease
- elbow room
- at someone's elbow
- crook one's elbow
- out at the elbows
- rub elbows with