Definition of elbow room in US English:

elbow room

noun

informal
  • Adequate space to move or work in.

    ‘the car has elbow room for four adults’
    figurative ‘Quebec wants a little more elbow room within the federation’
    • ‘Tourists and locals alike queue for a table, then jostle for elbow room while devouring platefuls of galuska and prokolt (stew).’
    • ‘There is barely elbow room and if the person eating next to you spills ‘sambar’ into your coffee, take it in your stride.’
    • ‘The deteriorating quality and the shrinking greenery around the city adds weight to the proposal to provide it a little more elbow room or breathing space.’
    • ‘Some people have a real need for elbow room, for the wide open spaces that cannot any longer be found on Earth.’
    • ‘People have to compete with each other for elbow room and breathing space, both of which are in short supply.’
    • ‘The outer two seats can then be moved slightly inward to give much more elbow room, making it just that little bit harder for little brother to torment big sister with a rubber band.’
    • ‘Sometimes the ‘text’ leaves lots of interpretative elbow room, but sometimes it doesn't.’
    • ‘Well, no more elbow room in the race for the White House.’
    • ‘One can be left in place and used as a couch while the other is stowed away allowing more than enough elbow room to move round.’
    • ‘Two temperamental artists wielding brushes and curling irons battled for elbow room.’
    • ‘Solicitors, guards, the press and members of the public jostled for elbow room in the tiny courthouse last Wednesday as the Judge did her best to deal with the court list.’
    • ‘Giving children and adults considerably more elbow room, community greens help promote a sense of extended family, drawing the neighborhood more tightly together.’
    • ‘There will be a new dashboard and centre console with new instrument layout and seating, with above average headroom, elbow room and rear passenger legroom due to its 2.46 metre long wheelbase.’
    • ‘The rapidly-growing firm, which has extended into five Georgian cottages in Monkgate, now has elbow room to expand and maintain a large car parking area for customers.’
    • ‘Even so, they needed to give him some elbow room.’
    • ‘It's not that they're anti-social, but folks in North Huntingdon Township apparently like their elbow room.’
    • ‘It is all a question of elbow room within the building as well as outside where we need yard space for accepting deliveries from publishers and have increasing need for our delivery vans.’
    • ‘What the move has done is give everyone much more elbow room.’
    • ‘We not only want elbow room, but eye room in this grey air which shrouds all the fields.’
    • ‘Shoppers were enthusiastic about the extra elbow room, long stretches of frozen food, and the strangely fresh leafy greens sitting under fluorescent lights.’
    room to manoeuvre, room, space, breathing space, scope, freedom, play, free rein, licence, latitude, leeway, margin, clearance
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

elbow room

/ˈɛlboʊ ˌrum/