noun \ˈlim-(ˌ)bō\
plural limbos

Definition of LIMBO

often capitalized :  an abode of souls that are according to Roman Catholic theology barred from heaven because of not having received Christian baptism
a :  a place or state of restraint or confinement
b :  a place or state of neglect or oblivion <proposals kept in limbo>
c :  an intermediate or transitional place or state
d :  a state of uncertainty

Origin of LIMBO

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, abl. of limbus limbo, from Latin, border
First Known Use: 14th century


plural limbos

Definition of LIMBO

:  a dance or contest that involves bending over backwards and passing under a horizontal pole lowered slightly for each successive pass

Origin of LIMBO

English of Trinidad & Barbados; akin to Jamaican English limba to bend, from English 3limber
First Known Use: circa 1950

Other Dance Terms

attitude, honor, saltatory, sashay, taw


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Roman Catholicism, a region between heaven and hell, the dwelling place of souls not condemned to punishment but deprived of the joy of existence with God in heaven. The concept probably developed in the Middle Ages. Two distinct kinds of limbo were proposed: the limbus patrum (“fathers' limbo”), where Old Testament saints were confined until liberated by Jesus in his “descent into hell”; and the limbus infantum or limbus puerorum (“children's limbo”), the abode of those who died without actual sin but whose original sin had not been washed away by baptism or whose free will was restricted by mental deficiency. Today the Catholic church downplays the notion of limbo, and it is not an official part of church doctrine.


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