Main definitions of limbo in English

: limbo1limbo2

limbo1

See synonyms for limbo

Translate limbo into Spanish

noun

  • 1

    (also Limbo)
    (in some Christian beliefs) the supposed abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, and of the just who died before Christ's coming.

    ‘She wore a black bonnet to match her dress and gloves; to Jeremiah she looked like an engraving he'd once seen of a restless soul in limbo.’
    • ‘Some theologians have taught the existence of a place or state called Limbo which is intermediate between Heaven and Hell.’
    • ‘At school, like my peers, I was indoctrinated in the mysteries of original and venal sin, virgin birth, the respective criteria for entry to limbo, purgatory, and heaven.’
    oblivion, void, non-existence, neither heaven nor hell
    View synonyms
  • 2An uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.

    ‘the fate of the Contras is now in limbo’
    • ‘So there they stayed, in limbo, until after resolution 1441 when last November they were allowed to return.’
    • ‘But the decision still left them in limbo until a final decision could be made on the park's future.’
    • ‘The players and the many supporters who turn out each week to get behind their club, deserve much better than being left in limbo for an indefinite period.’
    • ‘At the time of going to press, Sligo Airport is still sitting in limbo, as it awaits the decision of the Department of Transport's Aviation Authority.’
    • ‘The government could have been left in limbo for weeks in conditions where the IMF, the World Bank and business leaders are demanding immediate action to try to pull the economy out of a deep recession.’
    • ‘I suffered for eight months in limbo whilst awaiting the Crown Prosecution Service decision.’
    • ‘The inquiry is in limbo because of the decision of the court today.’
    • ‘So that leaves shareholders in limbo until further details are released.’
    • ‘Oxfam Ireland, calling for talks on farming subsidies to resume as early as possible, said developing nations will be in limbo until a date for further negotiations is set.’
    • ‘And now the collapse of a proposed move to Blackburn Rovers has left his club career in limbo as he concentrates on the vital role of Australia's over-age captain in Greece.’
    • ‘Is their investigation and resolution to be left in limbo?’
    • ‘But now it has been revealed that plans to set up the club are in limbo as Bradford Council, which owns the building, negotiates a fee with Youth Services - one of its own departments.’
    • ‘The controversial defection law was put on ice yesterday pending a Constitutional Court decision, leaving some politicians in limbo and others scrambling for survival.’
    • ‘Spin FM, which was due to begin broadcasting last February, remains in limbo, at least until after the Supreme Court hear the appeal towards the end of this year.’
    • ‘The 1950s recordings have been in limbo until recently, boasting neither modern sound nor superlative sentimental value.’
    • ‘For two years the album had been stuck in limbo, until someone introduced him into the right circles.’
    • ‘Your money will be in limbo until the end of the year.’
    • ‘As a result, nominees have been left in limbo, courthouses sit empty, justice is delayed, political rhetoric has escalated and political civility has suffered.’
    • ‘But the move was widely criticised with North Yorkshire MPs claiming it was ‘absolutely scandalous’ and had left passengers in limbo for a further two years.’
    • ‘He was left in limbo by Scottish Labour's Executive, which refused to endorse his candidacy until Fife police concluded their investigations into the case.’
    in abeyance, unattended to, unfinished, incomplete
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    1. 2.1A state of neglect or oblivion.
      ‘children left in an emotional limbo’
      • ‘In time, argues Winnicott, the transitional object is relegated to limbo, neither mourned nor forgotten, just losing its meaning.’
      in abeyance, unattended to, unfinished, incomplete
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

limbo

/ˈlimbō/ /ˈlɪmboʊ/

Origin

Late Middle English from the medieval Latin phrase in limbo, from limbus ‘hem, border, limbo’.

Main definitions of limbo in English

: limbo1limbo2

limbo2

See synonyms for limbo

Translate limbo into Spanish

nounplural noun limbos

  • A West Indian dance in which the dancer bends backward to pass under a horizontal bar that is progressively lowered to a position just above the ground.

    ‘Families can jump rope, play on an obstacle course, do the limbo, or play parachute games or sports.’
    • ‘We spent a week sailing the Caribbean with liquor-filled coconuts in our hands as we tried to do the limbo and manage not to fall overboard.’
    • ‘I love doing the limbo because I can really go far back!’
    • ‘Players hugged, high-fived and even danced the limbo.’
    • ‘Group activities include activities for older kids like the limbo and group dances.’
    • ‘The only time in my life I've ever done the limbo was at a convention.’
    • ‘He is arched back as if he's doing the limbo .’
    • ‘I did the limbo on stage with him and met David after the show too - best night of my life!’
    • ‘We taught them to do the limbo under an elastic they used for their playground game.’
    • ‘I've always wanted to do the limbo in the place where the dance originated.’

Pronunciation

limbo

/ˈlimbō/ /ˈlɪmboʊ/

intransitive verb

[no object]
  • Perform the limbo.

    ‘the children limboed under the bar’
    • ‘In a now viral video, she can be seen limboing to dangerously low levels underneath chairs.’
    • ‘I'm not sure if he's ever actually limboed before.’
    • ‘She danced, jumped, and limboed with a group of children.’
    • ‘Men limboed under burning fire ropes just inches off the ground.’
    • ‘She limboed down to an incredible eight and a half inches.’
    • ‘They gave prizes to anyone who played their giant Jenga set or limboed.’
    • ‘He holds the phone and films himself limboing under the pole.’
    • ‘I plotted my revenge as I limboed my way under the shutter.’
    • ‘Whatever bar they set, I'll limbo under it.’
    • ‘Branches smack your face, and you have to limbo under root arches.’

Pronunciation

limbo

/ˈlimbō/ /ˈlɪmboʊ/

Origin

1950s from limber.