limber (n.) Look up limber at Dictionary.com
"detachable forepart of a gun carriage," 1620s, from Middle English lymer (early 15c.), earlier lymon (c.1400), probably from Old French limon "shaft," a word perhaps of Celtic origin, or possibly from Germanic and related to limb (n.1). Hence, limber (v.) "to attach a limber to a gun" (1783). Compare related Spanish limon "shaft," leman "helmsman."
limber (v.) Look up limber at Dictionary.com
1748, from limber (adj.). Related: Limbered; limbering.
limbic (adj.) Look up limbic at Dictionary.com
1879, from French limbique (1878, Broca), from limbe, from Latin limbus "edge" (see limb (n.2)). Limbic system is attested from 1950.
limbless (adj.) Look up limbless at Dictionary.com
1590s, from limb (n.1) + -less. Related: Limblessness.
limbo (n.1) Look up limbo at Dictionary.com
"region supposed to exist on the border of Hell" reserved for pre-Christian saints (Limbus patrum) and unbaptized infants (Limbus infantum);" c.1300, from Latin limbo, ablative of limbus "edge, border" (see limb (2)). It emerged from Latin in the ablative form from frequent use in phrases such as in limbo (patrum), etc. Figurative sense of "condition of neglect or oblivion" is from 1640s.
limbo (n.2) Look up limbo at Dictionary.com
dance in which the dancer bends backward and passes under a bar, 1956, of W.Indian origin, probably an alteration of limber.
Limburger (n.) Look up Limburger at Dictionary.com
1870, short for Limburger cheese (1817), from Limburg, province in northeast Belgium, where the cheese is made.
Some frauds a few years ago started a Limburger cheese factory down in Keyport, New Jersey, but the imposition was soon exposed. A man could come within 300 yards of the spurious article without being knocked down, and as the smell never had any effect on the town clock the business was soon discontinued. [John E. Boyd, "The Berkeley Heroine and Others Stories"]
The place name is from Germanic *lindo "lime tree" + *burg "fortification."
limbus (n.) Look up limbus at Dictionary.com
Latin, literally "edge, border" (see limb (n.2)). In Medieval Latin, "region on the border of Hell," and thus sometimes used in English for limbo (n.1).
lime (n.1) Look up lime at Dictionary.com
"chalky mineral used in making mortar," from Old English lim "sticky substance, birdlime, mortar, cement, gluten," from Proto-Germanic *leimaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Norse, Danish lim, Dutch lijm, German Leim "birdlime"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (cognates: Latin limus "slime, mud, mire," linere "to smear;" see slime (n.)). Lime is made by putting limestone or shells in a red heat, which burns off the carbonic acid and leaves a brittle white solid which dissolves easily in water. Hence lime-kiln (late 13c.), lime-burner (early 14c.). As a verb, c.1200, from the noun.
lime (n.2) Look up lime at Dictionary.com
greenish-yellow citrus fruit, 1630s, probably via Spanish lima, from Arabic limah "citrus fruit," from Persian limun "lemon" (see lemon (n.1)). Related: Limeade (1892), with ending as in lemonade.
lime (n.3) Look up lime at Dictionary.com
"linden tree," 1620s, earlier line (c.1500), from Middle English lynde (early 14c.), from Old English lind "lime tree" (see linden). Klein suggests the change of -n- to -m- probably began in compounds whose second element began in a labial (such as line-bark, line-bast). An ornamental European tree unrelated to the tree that produces the citrus fruit.
lime-juicer (n.) Look up lime-juicer at Dictionary.com
see Limey.
limelight (n.) Look up limelight at Dictionary.com
1826, popular name for Drummond light, a brilliant light created by the incandescence of lime (n.1); adopted for lighthouses and later for the Victorian stage, where it illuminated the principal actors, hence the figurative sense of "on stage, at the center of attention" (1877).
limerick (n.) Look up limerick at Dictionary.com
nonsense verse of five lines, 1896, perhaps from the county and city in Ireland, but if so the connection is obscure. Often (after OED's Murray) attributed to a party game in which each guest in turn made up a nonsense verse and all sang a refrain with the line "Will you come up to Limerick?" but he reported this in 1898 and earlier evidence is wanting. Or perhaps from Learic, from Edward Lear (1812-1888) English humorist who popularized the form. Earliest examples are in French, which further complicates the quest for the origin. OED's first record of the word is in a letter of Aubrey Beardsley. The place name is literally "bare ground," from Irish Liumneach, from lom "bare, thin." It was famous for hooks.
The limerick may be the only traditional form in English not borrowed from the poetry of another language. Although the oldest known examples are in French, the name is from Limerick, Ireland. John Ciardi suggests that the Irish Brigade, which served in France for most of the eighteenth centiry, might have taken the form to France or developed an English version of a French form. ... The contemporary limerick usually depends on a pun or some other turn of wit. It is also likely to be somewhat suggestive or downright dirty." [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1986]
limestone (n.) Look up limestone at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from lime (n.1) + stone (n.).
limey (n.) Look up limey at Dictionary.com
1888, Australian, New Zealand, and South African slang for "English immigrant;" U.S. use is attested from 1918, originally "British sailor, British warship," short for lime-juicer (1857), in derisive reference to the British Navy's policy (begun 1795) of issuing lime (n.2) juice on ships to prevent scurvy among sailors. In U.S., extended to "any Englishman" by 1924.
Midway Signs Limey Prof to Dope Yank Talk ["Chicago Tribune" headline, Oct. 18, 1924]
liminal (adj.) Look up liminal at Dictionary.com
1884, from Latin limen "threshold, cross-piece, sill" (see limit (n.)) + -al (1). Related: Liminality.
limit (n.) Look up limit at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "boundary, frontier," from Old French limite "a boundary," from Latin limitem (nominative limes) "a boundary, limit, border, embankment between fields," related to limen "threshold." Originally of territory; general sense from early 15c. Colloquial sense of "the very extreme, the greatest degree imaginable" is from 1904.
limit (v.) Look up limit at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French limiter "mark (a boundary), restrict; specify," from Latin limitare "to bound, limit, fix," from limes "boundary, limit" (see limit (n.)). Related: limited; limiting.
limitary (adj.) Look up limitary at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin limitaris, from limes (genitive limitis); see limit (n.).
limitation (n.) Look up limitation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French limitacion and directly from Latin limitationem (nominative limitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of limitare (see limit (v.)). Phrase statute of limitations attested by 1768.
limited (adj.) Look up limited at Dictionary.com
1550s, past participle adjective from limit (v.); as a stand-alone for limited express train, by 1883. Limited edition is from 1920; limited monarchy from 1640s; limited war is from 1948. In British company names, Limited (abbrev. Ltd.), 1855, is short for limited liability company, one in which the liability of partners is limited, usually to the amount of their capital investment.
limitless (adj.) Look up limitless at Dictionary.com
1580s, from limit (n.) + -less. Related: Limitlessly; limitlessness.
limn (v.) Look up limn at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to illuminate" (manuscripts), altered from Middle English luminen, "to illuminate manuscripts" (late 14c.), from Old French luminer "light up, illuminate," from Latin luminare "illuminate, burnish," from lumen (genitive luminis) "radiant energy, light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Sense of "portray, depict" first recorded 1590s. Related: Limned.
limnology (n.) Look up limnology at Dictionary.com
study of lakes and fresh water, 1892, with -logy + limno-, comb. form of Greek limne "pool of standing water, tidal pool, marsh, lake," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime" (see slime (n.)). The science founded and the name probably coined by Swiss geologist François-Alphonse Forel (1841-1912). Related: Limnological; limnologist.
limo (n.) Look up limo at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of limousine, by 1959, American English.
Limoges (n.) Look up Limoges at Dictionary.com
painted porcelain or enamel from Limoges in France, 1838; for place name see Limousine.
limousine (n.) Look up limousine at Dictionary.com
1902, "enclosed automobile with open driver's seat," from French limousine, from Limousin, region in central France, originally an adjective referring to its chief city, Limoges, from Latin Lemovices, name of a people who lived near there, perhaps named in reference to their elm spears or bows. The Latin adjective form of the name, Lemovicinus, is the source of French Limousin.

Modern automobile meaning evolved from perceived similarity of the car's profile to a type of hood worn by the inhabitants of that province. Since 1930s, synonymous in American English with "luxury car;" applied from 1959 to vehicles that take people to and from large airports. Limousine liberal first attested 1969.
limp (v.) Look up limp at Dictionary.com
1560s, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English lympen "to fall short" (c.1400), which is probably from Old English lemphealt "halting, lame, limping," which has a lone cognate in the rare Middle High German limphin, and perhaps is from a PIE root meaning "slack, loose, to hang down" (cognates: Sanskrit lambate "hangs down," Middle High German lampen "to hang down"). Related: Limped; limping. As a noun, 1818, from the verb.
limp (adj.) Look up limp at Dictionary.com
1706, "flaccid, drooping," of obscure origin, perhaps related to limp (v.).
limpet (n.) Look up limpet at Dictionary.com
marine gastropod mollusk, early 14c., from Old English lempedu, from Medieval Latin lampreda "limpet" (see lamprey).
limpid (adj.) Look up limpid at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French limpide (15c.) and directly from Latin limpidus "clear," from limpa "water goddess, water;" probably cognate with lympha "clear liquid" (see lymph). Related: Limpidly.
limpidity (n.) Look up limpidity at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French limpidité or directly from Late Latin limpiditatem (nominative limpiditas) "clarity," from Latin limpidus (see limpid).
limy (adj.) Look up limy at Dictionary.com
resembling or coated with lime, 1550s, from lime (n.1) + -y (2).
linch (n.) Look up linch at Dictionary.com
early 14c., lins, from Old English lynis "linchpin," from Proto-Germanic *luniso (cognates: Old Saxon lunisa, Middle Dutch lunse, Dutch luns, German Lünse).
linchpin (n.) Look up linchpin at Dictionary.com
also linch-pin, late 14c., earlier linspin, from Middle English lins "axletree" (see linch) + pin (n.). The peg that holds a wheel on an axle; now mainly figurative.
Lincoln Look up Lincoln at Dictionary.com
English city, county town of Lincolnshire, Old English Lindcylene, from Latin Lindum Colonia from a Latinized form of British *lindo "pool, lake" (corresponding to Welsh llyn). Originally a station for retired IX Legion veterans. Lincoln green as a type of dyed cloth fabric made there is from c.1500. In reference to U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), Lincolnesque is from 1894 (earlierst reference is to the beard); Lincolniana is from (1862).
linden (n.) Look up linden at Dictionary.com
"the lime tree," 1570s, noun use of an adjective, "of linden wood," from Old English lind "linden" (n.), from Proto-Germanic *lindjo (cognates: Old Saxon linda, Old Norse lind, Old High German linta, German linde), probably from PIE *lent-o- "flexible" (see lithe); with reference to the tree's pliant bast. Compare Russian lutĭijó "forest of lime trees," Polish łęt "switch, twig," Lithuanian lenta "board, plank."
Lindy Hop (n.) Look up Lindy Hop at Dictionary.com
popular dance, 1931, it originated in Harlem, N.Y., named for Lindy, nickname of U.S. aviator Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) who in 1927 made the first solo nonstop trans-Atlantic flight.
line (n.) Look up line at Dictionary.com
a Middle English merger of Old English line "cable, rope; series, row, row of letters; rule, direction," and Old French ligne "guideline, cord, string; lineage, descent;" both from Latin linea "linen thread, string, line," from phrase linea restis "linen cord," from fem. of lineus (adj.) "of linen," from linum "linen" (see linen).

Oldest sense is "rope, cord, string;" extended late 14c. to "a thread-like mark" (from sense "cord used by builders for making things level," mid-14c.), also "track, course, direction." Sense of "things or people arranged in a straight line" is from 1550s. That of "cord bearing hooks used in fishing" is from c.1300. Meaning "one's occupation, branch of business" is from 1630s, probably from misunderstood KJV translation of 2 Cor. x:16, "And not to boast in another mans line of things made ready to our hand," where line translates Greek kanon, literally "measuring rod." Meaning "class of goods in stock" is from 1834. Meaning "telegraph wire" is from 1847 (later "telephone wire").

Meaning "policy or set of policies of a political faction" is 1892, American English, from notion of a procession of followers; this is the sense in party line. In British army, the Line (1802) is the regular, numbered troops, as distinguished from guards and auxiliaries. In the Navy (1704, as in ship of the line) it refers to the battle line. Lines "words of an actor's part" is from 1882. Lines of communication were originally transverse trenches in siegeworks.
line (v.1) Look up line at Dictionary.com
"to cover the inner side of," late 14c., from Old English lin "linen cloth" (see linen). Linen was frequently used in the Middle Ages as a second layer of material on the inner side of a garment. Related: Lined; lining.
line (v.2) Look up line at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to tie with a cord," from line (n.). Meaning "to mark or mark off with lines" is from mid-15c. Sense of "to arrange in a line" is from 1640s; that of "to join a line" is by 1773. To line up "form a line" is attested by 1889, in U.S. football.
lineage (n.) Look up lineage at Dictionary.com
late 17c. alteration (by influence of line (n.)) of Middle English linage (c.1300), from Old French lignage "descent, extraction, race," from ligne "line," from Latin linea (see line (n.)).
lineal (adj.) Look up lineal at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French lineal (14c.), from Late Latin linealis "pertaining to a line," from linea (see line (n.)). Related: Lineally.
lineament (n.) Look up lineament at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "distinctive feature of the body, outline," from Middle French lineament, from Latin lineamentum "contour, outline," literally "a line, stroke, mark," from lineare "to reduce to a straight line," from linea (see line (n.)). Figurative sense of "a characteristic" is attested from 1630s.
linear (adj.) Look up linear at Dictionary.com
1640s, from French linéaire, from Latin linearis "belonging to a line," from linea "string, line" (see line (n.)). Essentially the same word as lineal; "in Latin linearis the original suffix -alis was dissimilated to -aris, but in Late Latin this rule was no longer productive and the formation or re-formation in -alis remained unchanged." [Barnhart]. Linear A and Linear B (1902-3) were names given to two related forms of linear Minoan writing discovered 1894-1901 in Crete by Sir Arthur Evans.
lineate (v.) Look up lineate at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Latin lineatus, past participle of lineare (see lineament). Related: Lineated; lineating.
lineate (adj.) Look up lineate at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Latin lineatus, past participle of lineare (see lineament).
lineation (n.) Look up lineation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin lineationem (nominative lineatio) "the making in a straight line," noun of action from past participle stem of lineare (see lineament).
lined (adj.) Look up lined at Dictionary.com
"having a lining or backing" (of some other material), mid-15c., from past participle of line (v.1); meaning "marked with lines" is from 1776, from past participle of line (v.2).