elbow

noun
el·​bow | \ˈel-ˌbō \

Definition of elbow 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

at one's elbow

: at one's side

out at elbows or out at the elbows

1 : shabbily dressed

2 : short of funds

elbow

verb
elbowed; elbowing; elbows

Definition of elbow (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Johnson's was placed on her outer elbow and Martin's was on his inner arm. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dakota Johnson and Chris Martin Were Spotted With Matching Tattoos," 6 Sep. 2018 Instead the evening felt much closer to Green Day’s former tenure at Berkeley’s storied 924 Gilman, with plenty of crowd-surfing, flying elbows and an aura of gleeful mayhem. Zack Ruskin, SFChronicle.com, "Billie Joe Armstrong performs as the Longshot, celebrates punk roots at sold-out homecoming show," 10 July 2018 Benedek suffered severe injuries to his head, elbow, and shoulder. Thomas Oide, BostonGlobe.com, "Miles from home, an Israeli band of brothers seeks healing," 11 June 2018 Advocates for full legalization rubbed elbows with those who primarily promoted medical-use marijuana. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Marijuana advocates promote education amidst growing legalization push," 14 July 2018 Shopping downtown means rubbing elbows with the thousands of people who cross from Mexico daily to work and shop. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "In border town, World Cup watchers balance team pride, anxiety about US," 29 June 2018 Even Beckham’s children — Brooklyn, 19, Romeo, 15, Cruz, 13, and Harper, 6 — have rubbed elbows with the royal family. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "The Beckham Effect: Queen Is All Smiles While Greeting David at Palace Party — See the Photo," 27 June 2018 The rambunctious 4-year-old now rubs elbows with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Zara Tindall Is One of the Most Impressive Royals Ever," 22 June 2018 But the Rule 5 picks aren't the only reason they're hamstrung out there without Zach Britton (Achilles) and Darren O'Day (elbow). Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles crushed, 11-1, by White Sox, owners of the American League's lowest-scoring offense," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and hold the ball firmly between both hands with your arms out in front of you, elbows slightly bent. SELF, "Strengthen Your Entire Body With This 8-Part Slam Ball Circuit from Pink’s Trainer," 12 Sep. 2018 Don’t feel like elbowing your way through the crowds? Allison Weiss Entrekin, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Atlanta in September 2018," 5 Sep. 2018 But that configuration was scrapped as too bulky for the shoulder-width passages and elbow turns. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Martin Perez, who underwent surgery on his non-throwing (right) elbow this off-season, is scheduled to make his first start of the spring on Monday. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Surprise Five: Matt Moore gets fired up during minor league outing | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 10 Mar. 2018 Like Drew Smyly on Tuesday, Pineda will spend most of 2018 rehabbing last summer’s Tommy John elbow reconstruction. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Winter Meetings moves: A homecoming for Piscotty," 14 Dec. 2017 Dude had the nerve to elbow me aside before wrapping his flab around the fountain and straight-up getting his slurp on. Lori D. Johnson, The Root, "The Inheritance," 3 June 2018 While the former laundress was elbowing her way through the medieval patriarchy, a young man named Raymond of Campagno was similarly rising in the king’s estimation. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Miller departed his start on Wednesday after just one inning due to elbow tightness and was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo: Initial update on Shelby Miller’s elbow positive," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elbow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of elbow

Noun

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

Verb

1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for elbow

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about elbow

Statistics for elbow

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elbow

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for elbow

elbow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of elbow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the joint where your arm bends

: the part of a piece of clothing that covers the elbow

: something (such as a pipe or a piece of food) that is bent like an elbow

elbow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of elbow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to push or shove (someone) with your elbow

elbow

noun
el·​bow | \ˈel-ˌbō \

Kids Definition of elbow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the joint or the region of the joint of the arm or of the same part of an animal's front legs

2 : a part (as of a pipe) bent like an elbow

elbow

verb
elbowed; elbowing

Kids Definition of elbow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to jab with an elbow

2 : to push or force a way with or as if with the elbows He elbowed his way past Officer Delinko …— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot

elbow

noun
el·​bow | \ˈel-ˌbō \

Medical Definition of elbow 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on elbow

What made you want to look up elbow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!