limbo (countable and uncountable, plural limbos)
- (Roman Catholic theology, since circa 400 A.D.) The place where innocent souls exist temporarily until they can enter heaven, notably those of the saints who died before the advent of Christ (limbus patruum) and those of unbaptized but innocent children (limbus infantum).
- (by extension, since the 16th century) Any in-between place, state or condition of neglect or oblivion which results in an unresolved status, delay or deadlock.
- My application has been stuck in bureaucratic limbo for two weeks.
place for innocent souls
- German: Limbus (de) m, Vorhölle (de) f
- Japanese: 辺獄 (へんごく, hengoku), 辺土 (へんど, hendo)
- Korean: 림보 (rimbo), 지옥의 변방 (jiog-ui byanbang)
- Polish: otchłań (pl) f
- Portuguese: limbo m
- Russian: лимб (ru) m (limb)
Word of uncertain West Indian (notably Jamaican) origin, probably an alteration of limber as it is a physical agility test.
- A dance played by taking turns crossing under a horizontal bar or stick. The stick is lowered with each round, and the game is won by the player who passes under the bar in the lowest position.
dance with bar that is lowered
limbo (third-person singular simple present limbos, present participle limboing, simple past and past participle limboed)
- To dance in this way
- “limbo” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
- Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967
From Latin in limbō (“on the edge”).
limbo n (uncountable)
- Limbo, the place where innocent souls barred from heaven exist.
limbo m (plural limbo's, diminutive limbootje n)
- Limbo, in-between place, state or condition of neglect or oblivion which results in an unresolved status, delay or deadlock.
Word of uncertain West Indian (possibly Jamaican) origin, recorded since 1956, probably an alteration of limber as it is a physical agility test.
limbo n (uncountable)
- limbo, the low-dancing game below a bar
- dative singular of limbus
- ablative singular of limbus
limbo m (plural limbos)
- (Roman Catholicism) limbo (place for innocent souls)
- (figuratively) limbo (state of neglect or oblivion)
- (botany) blade (the flat part of a leaf or petal)