limbo of patriarchs

limbo

1 [lim-boh]
noun, plural limbos.
1.
(often initial capital letter) Roman Catholic Theology. a region on the border of hell or heaven, serving as the abode after death of unbaptized infants (limbo of infants) and of the righteous who died before the coming of Christ (limbo of the fathers or limbo of the patriarchs)
2.
a place or state of oblivion to which persons or things are regarded as being relegated when cast aside, forgotten, past, or out of date: My youthful hopes are in the limbo of lost dreams.
3.
an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place.
4.
a place or state of imprisonment or confinement.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English, from Medieval Latin phrase in limbō on hell's border (Latin: on the edge), equivalent to in on + limbō, ablative of limbus edge, border (L), place bordering on hell (ML); see limbus1

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World English Dictionary
limbo1 (ˈlɪmbəʊ)
 
n , pl -bos
1.  (often capital) Christianity the supposed abode of infants dying without baptism and the just who died before Christ
2.  an imaginary place for lost, forgotten, or unwanted persons or things
3.  an unknown intermediate place or condition between two extremes: in limbo
4.  a prison or confinement
 
[C14: from Medieval Latin in limbo on the border (of hell)]

limbo2 (ˈlɪmbəʊ)
 
n , pl -bos
a Caribbean dance in which dancers pass, while leaning backwards, under a bar
 
[C20: origin uncertain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

limbo
"region supposed to exist on the border of Hell" reserved for pre-Christian saints (Limbus patrum) and unbaptized infants (Limbus infantum);" c.1300, from L. (in) limbo "(on) the edge," abl. of limbus "edge, border" (see limb (2)). Figurative sense of "condition of neglect or oblivion" is from 1642.

limbo
dance in which the dancer bends backward and passes under a bar, 1956, of W.Indian origin, probably an alteration of limber.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

limbo definition


In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the afterlife, the condition of innocent persons who die without benefit of baptism; those in limbo do not suffer damnation, but they do not enjoy the presence of God. Limbo means “a bordering place.”

Note: Figuratively, “limbo” is a state of nonresolution or uncertainty: “Until he receives notice of his new posting, he'll be in limbo.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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