el·​bow | \ ˈel-ˌbō How to pronounce elbow (audio) \

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


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

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 Barker, 30, made two his MLB debut this year and pitched in three games for the Brewers but sprained his UCL in his throwing elbow in late June while in the minors. Curt Hogg, Journal Sentinel, 2 Aug. 2022 Exactly six weeks removed from suffering a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow, Walker Buehler is finally scheduled to pick up a baseball again on Monday. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 Detroit Tigers right-hander Casey Mize will undergo Tommy John surgery, manager A.J. Hinch said Friday afternoon, to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 10 June 2022 Baz, who turns 23 on June 17, underwent his procedure March 21 to remove loose bodies in his pitching elbow. Tom Layberger, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Philadelphia slugger Bryce Harper missed his fifth straight contest after a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow on Sunday. Wire Reports, BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 On Sunday, the Brewers placed right-hander Jake Cousins on the IL with swelling in his pitching elbow and reinstated catcher Victor Caratini from the COVID-19 IL. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2022 Gutierrez went on the IL on June 5 with a Grade 1 ligament sprain in his elbow. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 7 July 2022 Bergeron, who won his record fifth Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward, had May 31 surgery to repair a tendon in his left elbow. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 6 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Her white male classmates would slyly elbow her books off the long library tables, and once, while standing at her locker, a classmate waved a ten-thousand-dollar tuition check, signed by his father, in her face. Eleni Schirmer, The New Yorker, 27 July 2022 The white patches are nearly gone from her face and elbow, and are easily covered with make up. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2022 Wrap the bandage quickly from an area just above the bite past the knee or elbow joint, immobilizing it. Miles Blumhardt, USA TODAY, 17 July 2022 One of the adults, a University Heights man, 18, who was the victim, was treated by paramedics for minor injuries to his mouth, hand and elbow. cleveland, 15 June 2022 Zajonc allegedly struck the women with his closed fist or elbow, and in one case, allegedly shoved a woman to the ground. Greg Hanlon, PEOPLE.com, 6 Apr. 2022 The players wear helmets, kneepads, wrist guards, mouth guards and elbow pads. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 29 June 2022 Forearm strains are at times precursors to elbow injuries. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 15 Apr. 2022 In them, Cunard is wearing bracelets stacked from wrist to elbow on both slender arms. Mark Peikert, Town & Country, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of elbow


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


1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for elbow


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

Learn More About elbow

Time Traveler for elbow

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near elbow



elbow bending

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Statistics for elbow

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elbow. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for elbow


el·​bow | \ ˈel-ˌbō How to pronounce elbow (audio) \

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


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


el·​bow | \ ˈel-ˌbō How to pronounce elbow (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on elbow

Nglish: Translation of elbow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elbow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elbow


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