Why was clemency trending last week?


[uh-kim-boh] /əˈkɪm boʊ/
adjective, adverb
with hand on hip and elbow bent outward:
to stand with arms akimbo.
Origin of akimbo
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English in kenebowe < Old Norse *i keng boginn bent into a crook (i in, keng accusative of kengr hook, boginn past participle of bjūga to bend) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for akimbo
  • Sensing our presence, he whipped around to face us, stood up tall on all his legs and thrust his claws out akimbo.
  • Placed on top was a primitive wooden statue of the general himself, left arm akimbo and eyes fixed on uptown.
  • In their recessional, the couple broke out of their adult stride and into a childlike skip, arms akimbo.
  • Charred timbers akimbo inside the crumbling structural shell.
British Dictionary definitions for akimbo


adjective, adverb
arms akimbo, with arms akimbo, with hands on hips and elbows projecting outwards
Word Origin
C15 in kenebowe, literally: in keen bow, that is, in a sharp curve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for akimbo

c.1400, in kenebowe, of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle English phrase in keen bow "at a sharp angle," or from a Scandinavian word akin to Icelandic kengboginn "bow-bent," but this seems not to have been used in this exact sense. Many languages use a teapot metaphor for this, such as French faire le pot a deux anses "to play the pot with two handles."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for akimbo

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for akimbo

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for akimbo