Skip to main content
Select Source:

elbow

elbow An example of a hinge joint (uniaxial) with movement essentially limited to flexion and extension. The condyles at the lower end of the humerus in the upper arm articulate with the heads of both the radius and the ulna in the lower arm. Twisting movements of the lower arm (pronation and supination) are possible because the top end (the head) of the radius can rotate against the lower end of the humerus. Flexion of the elbow is achieved by action of the biceps muscle, which shortens and bulges, a muscle often shown to advantage in the classic pose of the body builder. Extension involves the triceps muscle, and when fully extended the arm should be in a straight line — the elbow angle at 180 degrees. This joint can also hyperextend; this is much more common in females than in males. Another difference in females is that the lower arms tend to be bent slightly more outwards when extended at the elbow (valgus carrying angle), thus clearing the hips, which are broader than in men. The most common problems associated with the elbow are colloquially described as ‘tennis elbow’ or ‘golfer's elbow’. However, these are not really a dysfunction of the elbow joint itself, but arise from over-indulgence in the named activity, or some equivalent muscular effort. Over-activity, particularly if the sport is not practised regularly, can result in small tears of the fibres in the tendons of muscles which are anchored at the lower end of the humerus (at the epicondyles), resulting in inflammation in this region (epicondylitis). Characteristically there is pain at this site which is aggravated by gripping or twisting movements. Treatment may involve a local injection of anti-inflammatory agents (steroids).

William R. Ferrell


See also joints; skeleton.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"elbow." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"elbow." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/elbow

"elbow." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/elbow

elbow

el·bow / ˈelˌbō/ • n. the joint between the forearm and the upper arm. ∎  the part of the sleeve of a garment covering the elbow. ∎  a thing resembling an elbow, in particular a piece of piping bent through an angle. • v. [tr.] strike (someone) with one's elbow: one player had elbowed another in the face. ∎  [intr.] move by pushing past people with one's elbows: people elbowed past each other to the door. ∎ fig. get rid of or disregard (a person or idea) in a cursory and dismissive way: his new TV talk show was elbowed aside in the ratings war. PHRASES: up to one's elbows in inf. with one's hands plunged in (something): I was up to my elbows in the cheese-potato mixture. ∎ fig. deeply involved in (a task or undertaking).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"elbow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"elbow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow-0

"elbow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow-0

elbow

elbow OE. el(n)boga = MDu. elleboghe (Du. elleboog), OHG. elinbogo (G. ellenbogen). ON. ǫlnbogi :- Gmc. *alinoboʒan-, f. *alinō arm (cf. ELL) + *boʒān- BOW1.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"elbow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"elbow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow-1

"elbow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow-1

elbow

elbow (el-boh) n. the joint in the arm formed between the ulna and part of the radius and the humerus.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"elbow." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"elbow." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow

"elbow." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow

elbow

elbow. See crossette.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"elbow." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"elbow." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow

"elbow." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow

elbow

elbowjabot, sabot •ambo, flambeau, mambo, Rambo, Rimbaud, Tambo •Gabo, Garbo, lavabo •elbow • Strabo • rainbow •gazebo, grebo, placebo •Igbo • bilbo •akimbo, bimbo, limbo •Maracaibo • yobbo •combo, Negombo •longbow • crossbow • oxbow •hobo, lobo, oboe •Colombo, dumbo, gumbo, jumbo, mumbo-jumbo, umbo •Malabo • Mirabeau • turbo

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"elbow." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"elbow." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow

"elbow." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/elbow