• synonyms


  1. not limber; inflexible; stiff.
Show More
verb (used with or without object)
  1. limber1.
Show More

Origin of unlimber1

(def 1) un-1 + limber1; (def 2) un-2 + limber1


verb (used with object)
  1. to detach (a gun) from its limber or prime mover.
  2. to make ready for use or action.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to prepare for action.
Show More
  1. the act of changing a gun from traveling to firing position.
Show More

Origin of unlimber2

First recorded in 1795–1805; un-2 + limber2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unlimber

Historical Examples

  • Come now, little boy, unlimber your mind and let us know what it is.

    Dave Porter At Bear Camp

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • Take up Bach, if you must unlimber your fingers and your wits.

    Old Fogy

    James Huneker

  • We hastened to get into position and unlimber before they could get the range.

  • They were so crowded among the guns, that the gunners could not unlimber.

  • "Now we're for it," I said to myself, and gave the order to unlimber the guns.

    Bullets & Billets

    Bruce Bairnsfather

British Dictionary definitions for unlimber


  1. (tr) to disengage (a gun) from its limber
  2. to prepare (something) for use
Show More
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 unlimber


1802, "to free (a gun) from its limber," usually for the purpose of bringing it into action, from un- (2) + limber (n.). Figurative sense is attested from 1864. Related: Unlimbered; unlimbering.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper