Elbow grease
Elbow El"bow, n. [AS. elboga, elnboga (akin to D. elleboga, OHG. elinbogo, G. ellbogen, ellenbogen, Icel. ?lnbogi; prop.; arm-bend); eln ell (orig., forearm) + boga a bending. See 1st {Ell}, and 4th {Bow}.] 1. The joint or bend of the arm; the outer curve in the middle of the arm when bent. [1913 Webster]

Her arms to the elbows naked. --R. of Gloucester. [1913 Webster]

2. Any turn or bend like that of the elbow, in a wall, building, and the like; a sudden turn in a line of coast or course of a river; also, an angular or jointed part of any structure, as the raised arm of a chair or sofa, or a short pipe fitting, turning at an angle or bent. [1913 Webster]

3. (Arch.) A sharp angle in any surface of wainscoting or other woodwork; the upright sides which flank any paneled work, as the sides of windows, where the jamb makes an elbow with the window back. --Gwilt. [1913 Webster]

Note: Elbow is used adjectively or as part of a compound, to denote something shaped like, or acting like, an elbow; as, elbow joint; elbow tongs or elbow-tongs; elbowroom, elbow-room, or elbow room. [1913 Webster]

{At the elbow}, very near; at hand.

{Elbow grease}, energetic application of force in manual labor. [Low]

{Elbow in the hawse} (Naut.), the twisting together of two cables by which a vessel rides at anchor, caused by swinging completely round once. --Totten.

{Elbow scissors} (Surg.), scissors bent in the blade or shank for convenience in cutting. --Knight.

{Out at elbow}, with coat worn through at the elbows; shabby; in needy circumstances. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elbow grease — is an old term for working hard at manual labour or trades, as in put some elbow grease into that . It has also been used as a practical joke by master tradesperson on apprentices, e.g. Go fetch some elbow grease from him . Each tradesperson will …   Wikipedia

  • elbow grease — {n.} Exertion; effort; energy. * / You ll have to use a little more elbow grease to get these windows clean, Mother said to Ed./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • elbow grease — {n.} Exertion; effort; energy. * / You ll have to use a little more elbow grease to get these windows clean, Mother said to Ed./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • elbow grease — If something requires elbow grease, it involves a lot of hard physical work …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • elbow grease — elbow ,grease noun uncount INFORMAL hard physical work that you do to clean something …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • elbow grease — [n] physical effort effort, exertion, labor, muscle, oomph*, strain, strength, sweat, toil; concepts 87,100,351,360,362 …   New thesaurus

  • elbow grease — ► NOUN informal ▪ hard physical work, especially vigorous polishing or cleaning …   English terms dictionary

  • elbow grease — n. Informal vigorous physical effort …   English World dictionary

  • elbow grease — noun use of physical or mental energy; hard work he got an A for effort they managed only with great exertion • Syn: ↑effort, ↑exertion, ↑travail, ↑sweat • Derivationally related forms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • elbow grease — noun Effort or hard work, especially physical work involving repeated motion of the forearm, such as scrubbing. When we were young we used to be told, in our house at home, that elbow grease was the one essential necessary to getting a tough… …   Wiktionary

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