Akimbo Definition

In or into a position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward.
Children standing akimbo by the fence.
American Heritage
With hands on hips and elbows bent outward.
With arms akimbo.
Webster's New World
Into, in, or of the position where the arms are akimbo.
The man was standing akimbo.
Placed in such a way as to have the hands on the hips and the elbows bowed outward.
Children standing with arms akimbo.
American Heritage
Being in a bent, bowed, or arched position.
American Heritage

With a crook or bend; with the hand on the hip and elbow turned outward.


Origin of Akimbo

  • Middle English in kenebowe (perhaps originally “in jug-handles, bent like the handles of a jug” ) in in in1 kenebowe (kene-) (perhaps from or akin to Old French chane, kane, quenne jug, of Germanic origin) (Middle English canne jar, pot can2) (bowe bow, bend bow3)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English in kenebowe, in kene bowe (“in a keen bow", i.e. "in a sharp bend or angle”), from in (“in”) + keen, kene (“brave, keen, sharp”) + bowe (“bow, bend”). Alternately, possibly from Old Norse keng (“bent”) + bogi (“a bow”), compare Icelandic kengboginn (“bow-bent”).

    From Wiktionary

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