Definition of akimbo in English:



  • 1With hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards.

    ‘she stood with arms akimbo, frowning at the small boy’
    • ‘She acts by striding about, arms akimbo to suggest self-confidence.’
    • ‘I stood there, arms akimbo, and glowered at him.’
    • ‘They are departing now, strutting their pumped up physiques with arms akimbo.’
    • ‘Tavisome - arms akimbo, head slightly cocked, probing look on her face - looks me over thoroughly.’
    • ‘She cleared her final boulder and stood on top of it with arms akimbo trying to catch her breath.’
    • ‘Have I ever told you that you are adorable with arms akimbo?’
    • ‘Arms akimbo, Jackie looked down at her with contempt.’
    • ‘he ordered zealously and she put her arms akimbo.’
    • ‘The woman regarded her suspiciously, arms akimbo.’
    • ‘I don't run around doing shots of him with arms akimbo in a cross-like formation.’
    • ‘Right then, Joni stood there with her arms akimbo.’
    • ‘From these imperatives spring the iconographies and situations that animate this suite: the large sitting figure, the figure standing with its arms akimbo, the man lost in a downpour.’
    • ‘Circumstance evidently is ganging up on Ganguly, but fortunately the Indian captain hasn't met a fight he doesn't like. He might stand arms akimbo, scowl etched on face, but adversity stirs something in him.’
    • ‘The silvery figure stood in front of him, arms akimbo.’
    • ‘She briefly imagined his pose: arms akimbo, hips jutting outward in impatience, thick black brows lowered ominously over angry eyes, mouth set in disapproval.’
    • ‘The Indian sentries take positions on either sides of the gates and stand arms akimbo, as if they are ready to indulge in a bout of some eastern martial art.’
    • ‘Lee makes her way over to Carl still prone on the dusty floor, grins at him and offers her hand while Xanne plants herself firmly near his face, arms akimbo, and glares menacingly down at him.’
    • ‘She just stands there, arms akimbo, with a cockeyed grin and hair in her eyes.’
    • ‘They stand opposite each other, arms akimbo, for a while.’
    • ‘One client told me that when he asked whether he had been breast-fed, his mother, arms akimbo, warned him off with a glare.’
    1. 1.1 (with reference to limbs) flung out widely or haphazardly.
      ‘he collapsed on the bed, legs akimbo’
      • ‘Bent like vultures, and with limbs akimbo, the dancers perform barefoot or in heavy shoes.’
      • ‘I found photo albums and home videos strewn all over the family room floor, picture frames on the walls akimbo and beds unmade.’
      • ‘They had left him chained in the room, limbs akimbo, naked except for crimson-soaked bandages.’
      • ‘David turned to look angrily at her but she'd stretched herself across the bed, arms splayed and hair akimbo.’
      • ‘Axel then stood, legs akimbo, on the hull, gesturing the team down.’
      • ‘It showed the twisted remains of a wrecked car, a shattered windshield, and a small body face down, arms and legs wildly akimbo.’
      • ‘He lies there, arms and legs akimbo, too stunned to move, to think, to cry.’
      • ‘It's a lovely run, but with an entirely predictable result: on the floor, gangly legs akimbo.’
      • ‘Return the bird, legs akimbo and without the lid, to the oven for 10 minutes.’
      • ‘Several white-sheeted bodies lay on the ground, limbs akimbo, eyes wildly open, with the look and feel of death permeating the surrounding area.’
      • ‘The overall impression is one of deviance and disorder: legs akimbo, shifty eyes, matches and cigarettes scattered nearby.’
      • ‘Curtis was asleep, limbs akimbo, his usually expressive face was relaxed and serene.’
      • ‘My legs are slightly akimbo and my hair is a mess.’
      • ‘They were sprawled nonchalantly, legs akimbo, across the precarious rock pathway that led to my jumping-off point.’
      • ‘Camillus differs from Brutus and Scaevola in his energetic and tense posture, his legs apart, his left arm akimbo, and his right hand grasping the banner high up the pole.’
      • ‘I would have a great time flailing round to this song, limbs akimbo, mouthing all the words.’
      • ‘One clenched fist held aloft, as he leaps - legs akimbo - on to one of his colleagues' shoulders, Pele was also a master of the celebration.’
      • ‘She rested her head lightly against that arm, her right arm akimbo, those perfect legs crossed at the ankle, one high-intensity knee aimed at his nose.’
      • ‘Dale was in our bedroom, limbs akimbo atop our massive new bed.’
      • ‘She'd landed on her bottom, legs akimbo, and her long red ringlets of hair had flopped forward, vaulting the crown of her head to hide her eyes.’


Late Middle English: from in kenebowe in Middle English, probably from Old Norse.