Word of the Day : July 26, 2017


adjective or adverb uh-KIM-boh


1 : having the hand on the hip and the elbow turned outward

2 : set in a bent position

Did You Know?

It's akimbo nowadays, but in Middle English, the adverbial phrase in kenebowe was used for the bent, hand-on-hip arm (or later, for any bent position). Originally, the term was fairly neutral, but now saying that a person is standing with "arms akimbo" implies a posture that communicates defiance, confidence, aggressiveness, or arrogance. In her novel Little Women, Louisa May Alcott took the word one step further, extending it into the figurative realm when she explained that tomboyish Jo had not been invited to participate in an elegant event with the other young ladies of the neighborhood because "her elbows were decidedly akimbo at this period of her life."


The model, arms akimbo, struck a pose at the end of the runway.

"Off the kitchen, the metal skeleton of what is supposed to be a human-size dinosaur puppet sits akimbo." — Kayla Epstein, The Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2017

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that describes knees that are turned outward: _ p _ a _.



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