elbow

1 of 2

noun

el·​bow ˈel-ˌbō How to pronounce elbow (audio)
1
a
: the joint of the human arm
b
: a corresponding joint in the anterior limb of a lower vertebrate
2
: something (such as macaroni or an angular pipe fitting) resembling an elbow

elbow

2 of 2

verb

elbowed; elbowing; elbows

transitive verb

1
a
: to push with the elbow : jostle
b
: to shove aside by pushing with or as if with the elbow
people elbowed each other to get a better view
2
: to force (one's way) by pushing with or as if with the elbow
elbowing our way through the crowd

intransitive verb

1
: to advance by pushing with the elbow
2
: to make an angle : turn
Phrases
at one's elbow
: at one's side
out at elbows or out at the elbows
1
: shabbily dressed
2
: short of funds

Examples of elbow in a Sentence

Noun He wore a tattered coat with holes in the elbows. Verb The actor's bodyguards rudely elbowed everyone out of the way. Everyone was shoving and elbowing to get a good position.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Frankel suffered shoulder and elbow injuries as well as nerve damage, according to the lawsuit. Cameron MacDonald, The Mercury News, 5 Apr. 2024 Your elbow, for example, is a relatively simple body part. Brad Jacobs, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2024 Put your elbows on the table by all means, Mabel—but put away your phone. Clare Finney, Vogue, 3 Apr. 2024 Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground. Christa Sgobba, SELF, 2 Apr. 2024 McEntire came in with the bases loaded and two outs for freshman Hunter Dietz -- who made his Arkansas debut after recovering from elbow surgery -- in the eighth inning with Mac Bingham coming up to bat after hitting two runs earlier in the game. Bob Holt, arkansasonline.com, 31 Mar. 2024 The Yankees begin the 2024 regular season with concerns regarding the health of defending American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole due to nerve inflammation and edema in his right elbow. Wayne G. McDonnell, Jr., Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Meyers said rattlesnake bites to the face are rare and that most bites happen around elbows, fingertips, knees and toes. The Arizona Republic, 23 Mar. 2024 After a big victory, Pickett headed for the stands, celebrating the win with Jo Jo by bumping elbows. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 28 Mar. 2024
Verb
He was banished to the locker room by the refs after elbowing the Hornets’ Nick Richards in the jaw with 6:34 left in the second quarter. Gary Bedore, Kansas City Star, 9 Apr. 2024 All season long, Burns has been a fan favorite for North Carolina State, the 11-seed that elbowed its way into this year's NCAA basketball tournament. Becky Sullivan, NPR, 5 Apr. 2024 Daddy’s Chicken Shack opened its second Texas location in Colleyville last month — elbowing its way into a region that has no shortage of fried chicken joints. Ella Gonzales, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3 Apr. 2024 The resulting surge in demand for used cars caused those prices to surge, too, elbowing many people out of the auto market entirely. Tom Krisher, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2024 The former House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), was walking through the halls with his security team when he was charged with elbowing a kidney of Rep. Tim Burchett (R., Tenn.), who’d been part of the successful effort to remove him as speaker. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2023 Sabonis bullied Davis into the block, spun, elbowed him in the jaw and scored, the Kings center running back while Davis stayed on the court. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 In the wake of violent unrest in January 2022, Nazarbayev was elbowed aside by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev from his security council post and lost key policymaking privileges. Nathan Hodge, CNN, 11 Mar. 2024 But what about a pitcher who will turn age 37 in March, had shoulder surgery in 2016 and elbow surgery in 2022 (as well as in 2004)? Chuck Murr, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elbow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English elbowe, from Old English elboga, from el- (akin to eln ell) + Old English boga bow — more at ell, bow

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of elbow was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near elbow

Cite this Entry

“Elbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elbow. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

elbow

1 of 2 noun
el·​bow ˈel-ˌbō How to pronounce elbow (audio)
1
a
: the joint of the arm
also : the outer curve of a bent arm
b
: a corresponding joint in the front limb of an animal
2
: a part (as of a pipe) bent like an elbow

elbow

2 of 2 verb
1
: to push or shove with the elbow : jostle
2
: to advance by or as if by pushing with the elbow
elbowed his way to the front

Medical Definition

elbow

noun
el·​bow ˈel-ˌbō How to pronounce elbow (audio)
1
: the joint between the human forearm and the upper arm that supports the outer curve of the arm when bent

called also elbow joint

2
: a joint in the anterior limb of a lower vertebrate corresponding to the elbow

More from Merriam-Webster on elbow

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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