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 Payton is out at least two weeks due to a fractured elbow. Damichael Cole, USA TODAY, 5 May 2022 Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II is expected to be sidelined for at least a month after suffering a fractured elbow in his team’s Game 2 loss to Memphis on Tuesday night. C.j. Holmes, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 May 2022 To feel the swift jab of a tiny elbow or knee under my skin. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 In 2019, palace Kremlinologists noticed that a family portrait of the Sussexes was absent from its place near the royal elbow during the broadcast of the Queen’s Christmas message. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 The Tigers in the fourth inning put runners on when Javier Baez was hit by a pitch on his left elbow pad, and Jeimer Candelario singled up the middle, with Baez aggressively taking third with no throw. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, 5 Apr. 2022 Two of their best young starting pitchers, Casey Mize (right elbow) and Matt Manning (right shoulder), have reported to Lakeland, Fla. to begin their rehab programs. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022 In the drill, Mr. Hector would punch the practice pads with each arm, then evade strikes from each side, punch again, then use each elbow to block. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 Buehler wasn’t coming off a forearm/elbow injury that sidelined him the last six weeks of the season like Kershaw. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sofia Coppola is seated, elbow perched on knee, on the oak steps of the McKim, Mead, and White Stair Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chloe Malle, Vogue, 14 Apr. 2022 The Orioles are awaiting a second opinion on the state of left-hander John Means’ elbow, but there’s uncertainty surrounding whether the ace will return at all this season. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 16 Apr. 2022 Bloomberg touted Guo as on the vanguard of mainland property developers poised to elbow aside Hong Kong's homegrown property tycoons as Beijing asserted greater control over the former British colony. Yvonne Lau, Fortune, 8 Dec. 2021 The Clippers were also missing forwards Paul George (elbow) and Robert Covington (personal reasons), and guards Normal Powell (foot), Jason Preston (foot) and Jay Scrubb (foot) in a 106-102 win over the Pistons on Sunday. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 14 Mar. 2022 Wilson hit her head and elbow on the concrete during the fall, the report said, and was taken to a nearby hospital. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, 9 Feb. 2022 The breed also has a high level of puppy mortality due to congenital defects like splayed legs and cleft palates, while adults deal with hip and elbow dysplasia and spinal curvature. Dan Heching, PEOPLE.com, 2 Feb. 2022 The key, really, is to trip on the extended leg or the outstretched arm or elbow in order to draw the offensive foul. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Feb. 2022 But elbow and knee injuries ravaged his body and cut short a promising career that would have put him among the club’s all-time greats. Joe Noga, cleveland, 28 Jan. 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

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elbow. Accessed 26 May. 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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