Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Bending or flexing readily; pliable.
  • adj. Capable of moving, bending, or contorting easily; supple.
  • transitive v. To make limber: limbered up his legs.
  • intransitive v. To make oneself limber: players limbering up before the game.
  • n. A two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle used to tow a field gun or a caisson.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Flexible, pliant, bendable.
  • n. A two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle used to pull an artillery piece into battle.
  • v. To prepare an artillery piece for transportation (i.e., to attach it to its limber.)
  • v. To cause to become limber; to make flexible or pliant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The shafts or thills of a wagon or carriage.
  • n. The detachable fore part of a gun carriage, consisting of two wheels, an axle, and a shaft to which the horses are attached. On top is an ammunition box upon which the cannoneers sit.
  • n. Gutters or conduits on each side of the keelson to afford a passage for water to the pump well.
  • transitive v. To attach to the limber.
  • adj. Easily bent; flexible; pliant; yielding.
  • transitive v. To cause to become limber; to make flexible or pliant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Easily bent; flexible; pliant; lithe; yielding: as, a limber rod; a limber joint.
  • To cause to become limber; render limber or pliant.
  • n. The shaft or thill of a wagon: usually in the plural.
  • n. The fore part of the carriage of a field-gun or cannon, consisting of two wheels and an axle, with a framework and a pole for the horses.
  • n. Nautical, a hole cut through the floor-timbers as a passage for water to the pump-well.
  • To attach the limber to, as a gun; fasten together the two parts of a gun-carriage, in preparation for moving away: often with up.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (used of e.g. personality traits) readily adaptable
  • v. cause to become limber
  • v. attach the limber
  • adj. (used of artifacts) easily bent
  • adj. (used of persons' bodies) capable of moving or bending freely
  • n. a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle used to pull a field gun or caisson

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
Alteration of Middle English limour, shaft of a cart, perhaps from limon, from Old French.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)
For the obsolete limmer, from Old Norse limar ("branches"), plural of lim. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Willow is limber timber.

    April 7, 2012


  • My father's face is brown with sun,
    His body is tall and limber.
    His hands are gentle with beast or child
    And strong as hardwood timber.

    - Elizabeth Madox Roberts, 'Father's Story'.

    November 1, 2008

  • "in artillery, is a two-wheeled carriage with shafts, to fasten to the trail of a travelling carriage by the means of an iron pin." (citation in Historical Military Terms list description)

    October 9, 2008

  • Oh. Then never mind my question at limber-box. Signed, still too lazy to check OED but it doesn't matter anymore. :-)

    October 17, 2007

  • In a military sense (In early use pl.): The detachable fore part of a gun-carriage, consisting of two wheels and an axle, a pole for the horses, and a frame which holds one or two ammunition-chests (see limber-box). It is attached to the trail of the gun-carriage proper by a hook.

    October 17, 2007