- 1 the joint between the upper and lower parts of the arm where it bends in the middle She jabbed him with her elbow. He rested his elbows on his knees. She grazed her elbow in the fall. He's fractured his elbow. See related entries: Body parts
- 2 the part of a piece of clothing that covers the elbow The jacket was worn at the elbows.
- 3a part of a pipe, chimney, etc. where it bends at a sharp angle Word Origin Old English elboga, elnboga, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch elleboog and German Ellenbogen (see also ell, bow2).Extra examples A voice at my elbow said, ‘Would Sir care to be seated?’ Extend your arms without locking your elbows. He caught her elbow to steady her. He had been rubbing elbows with celebrities. He raised himself on one elbow and looked at the bedside clock. He rested one elbow on the wall as he spoke. He took his guest by the elbow and steered him in the direction of the bar. He was up to his elbows in hot water, doing the washing-up. I banged my elbow on the table as I got up. She dug her elbow into Jim’s ribs to remind him not to give the secret away. She opened her eyes and propped herself up on one elbow to look at him. She slid a hand under his elbow to guide him into the shop. She thrust her elbow into her attacker’s face. She was cradling a small bundle in the crook of her elbow. The office cubicles give you hardly any elbow room. The tiny toilet compartment gives you hardly any elbow room. The whole of his arm below the elbow was badly burned.Idioms (British English, informal) to be told by somebody that they no longer want to have a relationship with you; to be told to go away (British English, informal) to tell somebody that you no longer want to have a relationship with them; to tell somebody to go away (old-fashioned, British English, informal) used to express support or encouragement for somebody to do something (British English, taboo, slang) to be very stupid or completely lacking in skill
to meet and spend time with a famous person, socially or as part of your job He’s rubbing shoulders with stars all the time.