Definition of elbow in English:

elbow

noun

  • 1The joint between the forearm and the upper arm:

    ‘she propped herself up on one elbow’
    • ‘His blue plaid shirt was rolled up to his elbows at the sleeves and his feet were bare as well.’
    • ‘The rash usually affects the wrists, ankles, elbows, lower back or genitals, but other parts of the body can also be affected.’
    • ‘Valgus stress is applied to the elbow with maximal forearm pronation.’
    • ‘It is now possible to replace almost all the joints of the body, including hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, ankles, and fingers.’
    • ‘He came out of the Colts' shower area after the game wearing a large bandage on his elbow, a sleeve over his lower leg and a towel.’
    • ‘Grabbing her other arm, he pulled the sleeve up to her elbow.’
    • ‘The hem hung down to mid-thigh and the sleeves reached my elbows.’
    • ‘With the knife held like a pen between his fingers, Matt slid his sleeve up to his elbow.’
    • ‘Now, he wears neoprene sleeves over his elbows, and he uses machines for his presses.’
    • ‘It revealed a soft cotton undershirt, with sleeves to his elbows.’
    • ‘Take care not to lock out your hips, elbows or shoulder joints on this one.’
    • ‘The elbow is a joint that serves to move the distal extremity to position the hand for fine motor activities.’
    • ‘Not only does he have enough pouches to store all kinds of oats and grains, he also has a chain mail sleeve for his elbow!’
    • ‘The sleeves ended between her elbow and her shoulder, and the overall effect was stunning.’
    • ‘He had doffed his suit jacket, undone his vest buttons, and rolled his sleeves just below his elbows.’
    • ‘I wore a cotton swimming costume reaching to my knees and with sleeves to the elbow.’
    • ‘I tugged gently at the sleeves of my shirt which were cuffed almost to my elbows.’
    • ‘This presents with a maculopapular rash and arthralgia, typically affecting the wrist, knees, elbows, and ankles.’
    • ‘When you cough, do you cough into your hand or into your elbow on the sleeve?’
    • ‘The dress went to the floor, and the sleeves were to her elbows.’
    arm joint, bend of the arm
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The part of the sleeve of a garment covering the elbow:
      ‘I darned the elbows of my corduroy jacket’
      • ‘The dress puffed out below the waist, and had puffy sleeves, until the elbow, where they became skin-tight.’
      • ‘On the elbows of the sleeves were silver stripes and it was the same on the knees.’
      • ‘Under it she wore a crisp white shift whose sleeves puffed at the elbow.’
      • ‘The bell rang and Mr. Walker stood up and rolled up his sleeves to the elbow.’
      • ‘I rolled the sleeves up to the elbow and ran my hand through my hair.’
      • ‘For extra attention, select a cardigan with small pockets or leather patches on the elbows.’
      • ‘The girl glared back at her with dead brown eyes and grabbed onto her right coat sleeve, at the elbow.’
      • ‘Critical zones on a gown are the cuff to the elbow, sleeve seams, and the front of the gown.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, she rolled her sleeves up to the elbow and, wincing a little, reached all the way inside the hole.’
      • ‘He pulled up his right sleeve to the elbow and injected the drug into a visible vein.’
    2. 1.2 A thing resembling an elbow, in particular a piece of piping bent through an angle:
      ‘a cross-fitting with elbows and straight pipework’
      • ‘On each occasion a kink, jerk or quirk was evident in his action that seemed to come from the straightening of a bent elbow.’
      • ‘He supplied the elbow in two pieces for easy field installation.’
      • ‘To avoid damage to the water inlet valve or other connections, grasp the elbow with a pipe wrench and apply counterpressure.’
      • ‘Unfortunately most gutter installers simply terminate the downspout with an elbow at the bottom.’
      • ‘Use ridged flex aluminum or ridged four-inch elbows and straight vent pipe to vent your dryer.’
      bend, joint, curve, corner, crook
      View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Push or strike (someone) with one's elbow:

    ‘one player had elbowed another in the face’
    • ‘She had been there for one instant, and then gone again; no one around him seemed to have noticed, and the people pushed past him rudely, shoving and elbowing him on the street.’
    • ‘The English player accused the Frenchman of deliberately elbowing him in the face after he was left with a broken nose.’
    • ‘When someone elbows you a little - give him a chance to excuse himself, then smile and shrug it off.’
    • ‘But he could come under video scrutiny after elbowing another player in the head during the final quarter.’
    • ‘Miller later got himself booked and was back in the wars towards the end when Gary Smith accused him of elbowing him in the face.’
    • ‘As long as no-one elbows you in the face on the last day.’
    • ‘Atkinson was attempting to push away a player who he claimed was trying to elbow him in the face.’
    • ‘A plucky schoolboy fought off a robber who tried to steal his sweet money by elbowing him in the stomach.’
    • ‘Players are elbowing opponents and get one match ban, it is quite amazing.’
    • ‘The second his back was on me, I elbowed him hard and pushed him towards the other guy, who had slowly stood up.’
    • ‘I narrowed my eyes and pushed the trolley past her, making sure to elbow her as I went past.’
    • ‘‘Oh, and look at that,’ he said, elbowing me and nodding toward a woman wearing tight ski pants.’
    • ‘Add to that the speeding fine and a five-match ban for elbowing an opponent.’
    • ‘But by 6 pm, invaders had already taken over the band, jostling, pushing and elbowing anyone in their path, forcing reluctant revelers to the sides of the road.’
    • ‘She has already battled in front of me, elbowing me in the arm sharply as she went.’
    • ‘‘I was physically elbowed and had my feet trodden on,’ Senator Brown said.’
    • ‘He elbowed the man in the face as he was struck in the side by one of the previous attackers.’
    • ‘They grab him, one on each arm, he elbows the person in the chest.’
    • ‘Logan pushed his way through the crowd, elbowing people left and right.’
    • ‘The policeman could be seen elbowing the prisoner twice in the shoulder area of his back during the struggle.’
    nudge, muscle, bulldoze, bludgeon one's way
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object, with adverbial of direction] Move by pushing past people with one's elbows:
      ‘he elbowed his way through the crush’
      • ‘On the way out, Oscar bumped into another group of guards, who gave him dark looks and elbowed past.’
      • ‘My adrenaline kicked in and I abruptly elbowed my way through the crowd, past the insulting conductor, and back on the train.’
      • ‘Now, I shove and elbow and do karate moves and eye gouges just to get down the hallway.’
      • ‘She elbowed past Lucas and headed straight for Theo.’
      • ‘She took the bowl of chips and elbowed past us to the parlor.’
      • ‘Three suitors elbowed past Derick, but he was concentrating so hard on the scenery that he hardly noticed.’
      • ‘At once, there was intense jostling and elbowing.’
      • ‘Which means I'm on a mission: elbowing my way past strangers, zig-zagging between cars, even occasionally breaking into a uncharacteristically moderately paced stroll.’
      • ‘An ensign elbowed past her into the elevator as she walked out onto the bridge.’
      • ‘Again there was a delay at the barrier and all the leaving passengers had to elbow their way past us.’
      • ‘Wouldn't it be interesting if the organisation and the referees get really tough on the pulling, dragging and elbowing that passes for football.’
      • ‘After elbowing my way past four lanes of inferior bowlers, I finally reached her.’
      • ‘That's where the kids who were fighting decided to get off too, pushing and elbowing their way past the other people who were trying to get off.’
      • ‘More than 40 customers elbowing for bargains at a discount sale in a local supermarket last week fell down stairs where two received fatal injuries.’
      • ‘A horde of journalists was camping outside the building, and Ann had had to push and elbow her way past them.’
      • ‘He elbowed his way past his brother's hands and grabbed for a sushi roll, stuffing the whole thing in his mouth.’
      • ‘Grampa and Granma congratulate Tom on getting out of jail, and elbow past him to the breakfast table.’
      • ‘She then elbowed her way past James and into the hallway, making sure to slam the door on the way out.’
      • ‘Ian elbowed past him silently and went upstairs.’
      • ‘Several tradesmen elbowed their way past him as they descended into one pit or another.’
  • 2Treat (a person or idea) dismissively:

    ‘the issues which concerned them tended to be elbowed aside by men’
    • ‘Clinical governance is elbowed aside as clinical priority too often takes second place to the ‘long waiter.’’
    • ‘In a typical yogurt aisle, the plain yogurt is elbowed aside by a panoply of trays, tubs, and tubes in which sugar, granola, and even candy have replaced some of the yogurt.’
    • ‘Tall tales were woven around the 1830 Revolution, notably to the effect that the landed aristocracy had been elbowed aside by bourgeois groups.’
    • ‘If it's only the former, they risk being elbowed aside by a host of other teams out there who know what they are after and why.’
    • ‘At some point - maybe in a year or two, after we reach 1 million users - I'll probably need to be elbowed aside.’
    • ‘The current chairman, a businessman and former police commissioner, is said to have been elbowed aside by Reilly.’
    • ‘The Keystone state produced half the global supply of petroleum until Texas elbowed it aside in 1901.’
    • ‘And I'm not entirely sure yet which is going to elbow the other aside.’
    • ‘The nominal Health Secretary rose without trace and now been elbowed aside by the Prime Minister himself.’
    • ‘And I sincerely doubt that they've made a systematic and concerted effort to remedy that situation since elbowing me out of the picture.’
    • ‘The play is set at a time when an indulgent old order was elbowed aside by brash, pragmatic modernisers, a process so widely witnessed in the past century that it has always seemed relevant.’
    • ‘The next election, expected in only six months time, could perhaps be as important as the one of 1923 when the old Liberal party was irreversibly elbowed aside by Labour.’
    • ‘The community is conservative so we didn't exactly have queues, recalls a researcher who went from door to door seeking girls who had been elbowed out of the education system.’
    • ‘At ground level, a bistro and book shop have been elbowed aside to create a senselessly spacious foyer, floored in black basalt.’
    • ‘If the big racecourses get their way, the smaller tracks will be elbowed aside in a rush for the extra fixtures promised.’
    • ‘It is time to elbow them aside and fill up the galleries with the rest of us.’
    • ‘In the corridors of power he was seen as too close to the players, too much of a social animal and was consequently elbowed aside by the Union.’
    • ‘The classics have gradually been elbowed aside in favour of more unusual music: Villa Lobos last spring, for example, and an all - American programme just before it.’
    • ‘With this kind of competition, Pressler can only hope he won't be elbowed aside.’
    • ‘The fact that they have been elbowed aside by the arrival of the new company on the scene has left many bitter with the way they have been treated.’

Phrases

  • at one's elbow

    • Close at hand; nearby:

      ‘he was standing at her elbow, holding out her glass’
      • ‘And Tom started toward an edge of the group, and she followed close at his elbow, in his sandy footprints.’
      • ‘I talked to a Colombian film-maker who I thought of having at my elbow, but finally the producer and I decided that with all of the actors we had on board, we really did have those voices there already.’
      • ‘You want to find an easy chair with by a fire and have a brandy at your elbow and your feet up (along with a large circle of friends and family all gathered round in eager expectation).’
      • ‘You should, in the pecking order of these things, have both an open packet of local cigarettes and a battered classic travel book at your elbow.’
      • ‘Some wasted looking guy kept hanging around at my elbow.’
      • ‘And pretty soon, we will end up in a circumstance, I fear, where academic researchers will find it very difficult to pursue their best and brightest ideas without a phalanx of lawyers at their elbow.’
      • ‘I could feel the invisible billions at my elbow, also watching.’
      • ‘Because I think that if you're at his elbow, day in, day out, hour in, hour out, you can't expect him to be guarded all the time.’
      • ‘With spirits whirling through his Christmas, Dickens still has one hand nudging at your elbow and another just resisting a clutch at a pretty girl's skirt.’
      • ‘I had a live database of Caribbean history and culture right at my elbow, along with visiting professors.’
  • give someone the elbow

    • informal Reject or dismiss someone:

      ‘I tried to get her to give him the elbow’
      ‘she decided to give tradition the elbow’
      • ‘You should give pain the elbow.’
      • ‘He had turned bitter when she gave him the elbow for another man, and bombarded her with silent phone calls until police warned him off.’
      • ‘This reviewer gives the all inclusive buffet the elbow.’
      • ‘But there's a few loyal sons eager to give her the elbow.’
      • ‘I have been married for 17 years, and I am not planning to give him the elbow.’
      dismiss, axe, give someone notice, make redundant, throw out, get rid of, lay off, let go, discharge
      sack, fire, kick out, boot out, give someone the sack, give someone the boot, give someone the bullet, give someone the heave-ho, give someone the old heave-ho, give someone the push, give someone their marching orders, show someone the door
      give someone their cards
      View synonyms
  • up to one's elbows in

    • 1informal With one's hands plunged in (something):

      ‘I was up to my elbows in the cheese-potato mixture’
      • ‘Foss recounts the time she walked into the back galley to find a colleague up to her elbows in a rubbish bin, rooting through passengers' trash.’
      • ‘And there is a picture of a solo mother doing what most mothers do - standing up to their elbows in the sink and making sure their children are fed.’
      • ‘And Ewood fans will be able to grab an unusual souvenir thanks to the kind-hearted players who got up to their elbows in paint.’
      • ‘I just love the idea of all these executives up to their elbows in suds washing all the cars belonging to their staff.’
      • ‘As I sat there up to my elbows in compost, she talked me through the joys of drizzling pesto and supping a nice wee Chilean white.’
      • ‘I was also up to my elbows in acrylics - we were staying with friends who have a built in cupboard in the dining room with a rounded head: there is thus a more or less semicircular top to the thing.’
      • ‘Want to be up to your elbows in grease with some hunky blokes?’
      • ‘Getting up to our elbows in textures, fabrics, metals, is just as exciting to us as a palette of colors and blank canvas was to Picasso.’
      • ‘We find the Dr. Hawking at work in the apartment's living room, wearing his lab coat and up to his elbows in what used to the apartment's fridge, now lying on its back and being converted into a homeostochastic chamber.’
      • ‘The sight of Ella, who a day earlier could barely find the dishwasher, up to her elbows in Fairy Liquid was worth the drive alone.’
      • ‘But for now, while you are up to your elbows in sandpits and play dough, the world around you is overwhelmingly female.’
      • ‘When Dolly arrived ready for her drink I was still there, up to my elbows in steamy water, having moved only now and again to run a little more hot water in so as to keep the temperature up.’
      1. 1.1Deeply involved in (a task or activity):
        ‘we're going to get up to our elbows in the selection process’
        • ‘They are literally up to their elbows in the science of life, and many of them have a stronger faith than most clergy.’
        • ‘They just know the Trilateral Commission is up to their elbows in this.’
        • ‘But we're also talking about a hometown paper with the rookie Senator from New York up to her elbows in scandal taint herself.’
        • ‘Yesterday I spent slaving away up to my elbows in a hot Unix shell.’
        • ‘The new head of Housing and Urban Development essentially has spent his career up to his elbows in roads, airports, housing, urban sprawl, and other aspects of public administration.’
        • ‘Once again, I'll be up to my elbows in it tomorrow, so I won't be able to prepare a fresh Scary Story.’
        • ‘It's been a truly enjoyable break, working away like a team again, even if most of our time was spent up to our elbows in junk.’
        • ‘Roseanna sounds supportive but is up to her elbows in blood.’
        • ‘And while most of Europe is already up to their elbows in a newly released remix album, we poor North Americans are relishing an album that's already six months out of date.’
        • ‘They're up to their elbows in work for other reporters.’

Origin

Old English elboga, elnboga, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch elleboog and German Ellenbogen (see also ell, bow).

Pronunciation:

elbow

/ˈɛlbəʊ/