Definition of elbow in English:

elbow

noun

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

    ‘she propped herself up on one elbow’
    • ‘It is now possible to replace almost all the joints of the body, including hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, ankles, and fingers.’
    • ‘Valgus stress is applied to the elbow with maximal forearm pronation.’
    • ‘This presents with a maculopapular rash and arthralgia, typically affecting the wrist, knees, elbows, and ankles.’
    • ‘The rash usually affects the wrists, ankles, elbows, lower back or genitals, but other parts of the body can also be affected.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sleeves ended between her elbow and her shoulder, and the overall effect was stunning.’
    • ‘His blue plaid shirt was rolled up to his elbows at the sleeves and his feet were bare as well.’
    • ‘He had doffed his suit jacket, undone his vest buttons, and rolled his sleeves just below his elbows.’
    • ‘It revealed a soft cotton undershirt, with sleeves to his elbows.’
    • ‘The hem hung down to mid-thigh and the sleeves reached my 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.’
    • ‘The dress went to the floor, and the sleeves were to her elbows.’
    • ‘Now, he wears neoprene sleeves over his elbows, and he uses machines for his presses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘When you cough, do you cough into your hand or into your elbow on the sleeve?’
    • ‘Grabbing her other arm, he pulled the sleeve up to her elbow.’
    • ‘With the knife held like a pen between his fingers, Matt slid his sleeve up to his elbow.’
    arm joint, bend of the arm
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The part of the sleeve of a garment covering the elbow.
      ‘I darned the elbows of my corduroy jacket’
      • ‘Critical zones on a gown are the cuff to the elbow, sleeve seams, and the front of the gown.’
      • ‘For extra attention, select a cardigan with small pockets or leather patches on the elbows.’
      • ‘The dress puffed out below the waist, and had puffy sleeves, until the elbow, where they became skin-tight.’
      • ‘The girl glared back at her with dead brown eyes and grabbed onto her right coat sleeve, at the elbow.’
      • ‘On the elbows of the sleeves were silver stripes and it was the same on the knees.’
      • ‘I rolled the sleeves up to the elbow and ran my hand through my hair.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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. 1.2A thing resembling an elbow, in particular a piece of piping bent through an angle.
      ‘a cross-fitting with elbows and straight pipework’
      • ‘Use ridged flex aluminum or ridged four-inch elbows and straight vent pipe to vent your dryer.’
      • ‘Unfortunately most gutter installers simply terminate the downspout with an elbow at the bottom.’
      • ‘On each occasion a kink, jerk or quirk was evident in his action that seemed to come from the straightening of a bent elbow.’
      • ‘To avoid damage to the water inlet valve or other connections, grasp the elbow with a pipe wrench and apply counterpressure.’
      • ‘He supplied the elbow in two pieces for easy field installation.’
      bend, joint, curve, corner, angle, right angle, crook
      View synonyms

verb

  • 1with object and adverbial Push or strike (someone) with one's elbow.

    ‘one player had elbowed another in the face’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The second his back was on me, I elbowed him hard and pushed him towards the other guy, who had slowly stood up.’
    • ‘Players are elbowing opponents and get one match ban, it is quite amazing.’
    • ‘Atkinson was attempting to push away a player who he claimed was trying to elbow him in the face.’
    • ‘Logan pushed his way through the crowd, elbowing people left and right.’
    • ‘He elbowed the man in the face as he was struck in the side by one of the previous attackers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I narrowed my eyes and pushed the trolley past her, making sure to elbow her as I went past.’
    • ‘They grab him, one on each arm, he elbows the person in the chest.’
    • ‘As long as no-one elbows you in the face on the last day.’
    • ‘When someone elbows you a little - give him a chance to excuse himself, then smile and shrug it off.’
    • ‘‘Oh, and look at that,’ he said, elbowing me and nodding toward a woman wearing tight ski pants.’
    • ‘But he could come under video scrutiny after elbowing another player in the head during the final quarter.’
    • ‘The policeman could be seen elbowing the prisoner twice in the shoulder area of his back during the struggle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A plucky schoolboy fought off a robber who tried to steal his sweet money by elbowing him in the stomach.’
    • ‘Add to that the speeding fine and a five-match ban for elbowing an opponent.’
    • ‘The English player accused the Frenchman of deliberately elbowing him in the face after he was left with a broken nose.’
    • ‘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.’
    push, push one's way, shove, shove one's way, force, force one's way, shoulder, shoulder one's way, jostle, jostle one's way, nudge, muscle, bulldoze, bludgeon one's way
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial of direction Move by pushing past people with one's elbows.
      ‘he elbowed his way through the crush’
      • ‘She took the bowl of chips and elbowed past us to the parlor.’
      • ‘Ian elbowed past him silently and went upstairs.’
      • ‘Three suitors elbowed past Derick, but he was concentrating so hard on the scenery that he hardly noticed.’
      • ‘An ensign elbowed past her into the elevator as she walked out onto the bridge.’
      • ‘She elbowed past Lucas and headed straight for Theo.’
      • ‘He elbowed his way past his brother's hands and grabbed for a sushi roll, stuffing the whole thing in his mouth.’
      • ‘She then elbowed her way past James and into the hallway, making sure to slam the door on the way out.’
      • ‘Several tradesmen elbowed their way past him as they descended into one pit or another.’
      • ‘Grampa and Granma congratulate Tom on getting out of jail, and elbow past him to the breakfast table.’
      • ‘Now, I shove and elbow and do karate moves and eye gouges just to get down the hallway.’
      • ‘On the way out, Oscar bumped into another group of guards, who gave him dark looks and elbowed past.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A horde of journalists was camping outside the building, and Ann had had to push and elbow her way past them.’
      • ‘My adrenaline kicked in and I abruptly elbowed my way through the crowd, past the insulting conductor, and back on the train.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After elbowing my way past four lanes of inferior bowlers, I finally reached her.’
      • ‘Again there was a delay at the barrier and all the leaving passengers had to elbow their way past us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At once, there was intense jostling and elbowing.’
      • ‘Wouldn't it be interesting if the organisation and the referees get really tough on the pulling, dragging and elbowing that passes for football.’
  • 2with object and adverbial Treat (a person or idea) dismissively.

    ‘the issues which concerned them tended to be elbowed aside by men’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the big racecourses get their way, the smaller tracks will be elbowed aside in a rush for the extra fixtures promised.’
    • ‘The nominal Health Secretary rose without trace and now been elbowed aside by the Prime Minister himself.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And I'm not entirely sure yet which is going to elbow the other aside.’
    • ‘It is time to elbow them aside and fill up the galleries with the rest of us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At some point - maybe in a year or two, after we reach 1 million users - I'll probably need to be elbowed aside.’
    • ‘At ground level, a bistro and book shop have been elbowed aside to create a senselessly spacious foyer, floored in black basalt.’
    • ‘Tall tales were woven around the 1830 Revolution, notably to the effect that the landed aristocracy had been elbowed aside by bourgeois groups.’
    • ‘Clinical governance is elbowed aside as clinical priority too often takes second place to the ‘long waiter.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And I sincerely doubt that they've made a systematic and concerted effort to remedy that situation since elbowing me out of the picture.’

Phrases

    elbow-to-elbow
    • Very close together.

      ‘on the bank were dozens of anglers fishing elbow-to-elbow’
      • ‘Thousands of Wall Street bankers and brokers found themselves working elbow-to-elbow with their keenest rivals yesterday as firms made space available for competitors with burnt-out buildings.’
      • ‘An elbow-to-elbow, vacuum-packed dancefloor pulsated with a noisy crowd that continually caught furtive glances at themselves in the wall-to-wall mirrors.’
      • ‘Ulverstonians went elbow-to-elbow at the weekend to get a glimpse of new plans drawn-up for revamping the industrial area around the UK's shortest canal as well as town centre landmarks.’
      • ‘Five thousand mild revellers are swaying elbow-to-elbow in the Liberty Grand, a monumental, two-story semi-Victorian palace.’
      • ‘It's a delight to finally have a recording of the tune, especially when it comes elbow-to-elbow with several other songs of its calibre.’
      • ‘It certainly looked like just the right number of bodies were on hand and that a few hundred more would create an elbow-to-elbow situation.’
      • ‘The plant and ornamentation kiosks are packed elbow-to-elbow with bright-eyed garden enthusiasts.’
      • ‘But you know immediately, within the first five minutes of meeting someone, if this is somebody you think you could spend 10, 12 hours a day elbow-to-elbow with in the back of a station wagon.’
      • ‘In the security section, eight prisoners fit into a typical single-person cell, and a few cells held ten prisoners each, cramming prisoners in elbow-to-elbow with each other.’
      • ‘Cameron looked up towards the main room, filled elbow-to-elbow with drunk, sweaty teens and twenty somethings, chatting and laughing and grinding and touching.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Some wasted looking guy kept hanging around at my elbow.’
      • ‘I had a live database of Caribbean history and culture right at my elbow, along with visiting professors.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But for now, while you are up to your elbows in sandpits and play dough, the world around you is overwhelmingly female.’
      • ‘Want to be up to your elbows in grease with some hunky blokes?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Deeply involved in (a task or activity)
        ‘we're going to get up to our elbows in the selection process’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Yesterday I spent slaving away up to my elbows in a hot Unix shell.’
        • ‘Once again, I'll be up to my elbows in it tomorrow, so I won't be able to prepare a fresh Scary Story.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘But we're also talking about a hometown paper with the rookie Senator from New York up to her elbows in scandal taint herself.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
    give someone the elbow
    British informal
    • Reject or dismiss someone.

      ‘I tried to get her to give him the elbow’
      ‘she decided to give tradition 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.’
      • ‘I have been married for 17 years, and I am not planning to give him the elbow.’
      • ‘But there's a few loyal sons eager to give her the elbow.’
      • ‘You should give pain the elbow.’
      • ‘This reviewer gives the all inclusive buffet the elbow.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

elbow

/ˈɛlbəʊ/