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elbow

[el-boh] /ˈɛl boʊ/
noun
1.
the bend or joint of the human arm between upper arm and forearm.
2.
the corresponding joint in the forelimb of a quadruped.
3.
something bent like an elbow, as a sharp turn in a road or river, or a piece of pipe bent at an angle.
4.
Architecture, crossette.
5.
Also called ell, el. a plumbing pipe or pipe connection having a right-angled bend.
verb (used with object)
6.
to push with or as if with the elbow; jostle.
7.
to make (one's way) by so pushing.
verb (used without object)
8.
to elbow one's way:
He elbowed through the crowd.
Idioms
9.
at one's elbow, within easy reach; nearby:
A virtue of the cottage is that the ocean is at your elbow.
10.
bend / lift / crook an elbow, Informal. to drink alcoholic beverages.
11.
give the elbow, shove aside, get rid of, or reject.
12.
out at the elbows,
  1. poorly dressed; shabby.
  2. impoverished.
Also, out at elbows.
13.
rub elbows with, to mingle socially with; associate with:
a resort where royalty rubs elbows with the merely rich.
14.
up to one's elbows, very busy; engrossed:
I am up to my elbows in answering mail.
Also, up to the elbows.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English elbowe, Old English el(n)boga; cognate with Middle Dutch elle(n)bōghe, Old High German el(l)inbogo (German Ellenbogen), Old Norse ǫl(n)bogi; literally, “forearm-bend.” See ell2, bow1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for up to ones elbows

elbow

/ˈɛlbəʊ/
noun
1.
the joint between the upper arm and the forearm, formed by the junction of the radius and ulna with the humerus
2.
the corresponding joint or bone of birds or mammals
3.
the part of a garment that covers the elbow
4.
something resembling an elbow, such as a sharp bend in a road or river
5.
at one's elbow, within easy reach
6.
out at elbow, out at elbows, ragged or impoverished
7.
up to the elbows with, up to the elbows in, busily occupied with; deeply immersed in
verb
8.
(transitive) to reject; dismiss. Also: give the elbow
9.
to make (one's way) by shoving, jostling, etc
10.
(transitive) to knock or shove with or as if with the elbow
Word Origin
Old English elnboga; see ell², bow²; related to Old Norse olbogi, Old High German elinbogo
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
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Word Origin and History for up to ones elbows

elbow

n.

c.1200, elbowe, from Old English elnboga, from ell "length of the forearm" + boga "bow, arch," from West Germanic *alinobogan, from Proto-Germanic *elino-bugon, literally "bend of the forearm" (cf. Middle Dutch ellenboghe, Dutch elleboog, Old High German elinbogo, German Ellenbogen, Old Norse ölnbogi).

Second element related to Old English bugan "to bend" (see bow (v.)); first element from *alina "arm," from PIE *el- (1) "elbow, forearm" (see ell (n.1)). Phrase elbow grease "hard rubbing" is attested from 1670s, from jocular sense of "the best substance for polishing furniture." Elbow room attested from mid-16c.

v.

"thrust with the elbow," c.1600, from elbow (n.). Figurative sense is from 1863. Related: Elbowed; elbowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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up to ones elbows in Medicine

elbow el·bow (ěl'bō')
n.

  1. The joint or bend of the arm between the forearm and the upper arm. Also called cubitus.

  2. The bony outer projection of this joint.

  3. Something having a bend or an angle similar to an elbow.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for up to ones elbows

elbow

noun

A police officer or detective

verb

To associate with someone as a friend; rub elbows

Related Terms

bend the elbow, not know one's ass from one's elbow, rub elbows


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with up to ones elbows
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for up to ones elbows

elbow

in human anatomy, hinge joint formed by the meeting of the humerus (bone of the upper arm) and the radius and ulna (bones of the forearm). The elbow allows the bending and extension of the forearm, and it also allows the rotational movements of the radius and ulna that enable the palm of the hand to be turned upward or downward

Learn more about elbow with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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