limp

\ \ English has two words limp, which perhaps share a common ancestry. Neither is particularly old. The verb first crops up in the 16th century (until then the word for ‘walk lamely’ had been halt, which now survives, barely, as an adjective). It was probably adapted from the now obsolete adjective limphaltlame’, a descendant of Old English lemphealt (which goes back ultimately to Indo-European *lomb-). The adjective limp is first recorded in the 18th century, and in view of the common meaning element ‘lack of firmness, infirmity’ it seems likely that it is related to the verb.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:

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  • limp — limp·er; limp·ing·ly; limp·kin; limp·ly; limp·ness; limp·sy; limp·en; limp; limp·sey; …   English syllables

  • limp — limp, floppy, flaccid, flabby, flimsy, sleazy mean deficient in firmness of texture, substance, or structure and therefore unable to keep a shape or in shape. Limp applies to something that lacks or has lost the stiffness or firmness necessary to …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • limp — limp1 [limp] vi. [ME lympen < OE limpan, to befall, occur (in a specialized sense, to walk lamely), akin to MHG limpfen, to walk with a limp, OHG limfan, to befall, happen < IE * (s)lemb < base * leb , to hang down, be limp > SLUMP,… …   English World dictionary

  • Limp — (l[i^]mp), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Limped} (l[i^]mt; 215); p. pr. & vb. n. {Limping}.] [Cf. AS. lemphealt lame, OHG. limphen to limp, be weak; perh. akin to E. lame, or to limp, a [root]120.] To halt; to walk lamely. Also used figuratively. Shak.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • limp — [lɪmp] verb [I] I to walk with difficulty because of an injured leg or foot limp noun [singular] II adj limp [lɪmp] not firm, stiff, or strong …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • Limp — Limp, a. [Cf. Icel. limpa limpness, weakness, and E. lap, n., lop, v. t. Cf. {Limber}, a.] 1. Flaccid; flabby, as flesh. Walton. [1913 Webster] 2. Lacking stiffness; flimsy; as, a limp cravat. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • limp — [adj] not stiff; weak bending, debilitated, drooping, droopy, ductile, enervated, exhausted, feeble, flabby, flaccid, flexible, flexuous, flimsy, floppy, impressible, infirm, languid, languishing, lax, lethargic, limber, listless, loose, plastic …   New thesaurus

  • limp — Ⅰ. limp [1] ► VERB 1) walk with difficulty because of an injured leg or foot. 2) (of a damaged ship or aircraft) proceed with difficulty. ► NOUN ▪ a limping gait. ORIGIN related to obsolete limphalt «lame». Ⅱ …   English terms dictionary

  • Limp — Limp, n. A halt; the act of limping. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Limp — Limp, n. (Ore Washing) A scraper for removing poor ore or refuse from the sieve. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • limp|sy — «LIHMP see», adjective. Dialect. limp …   Useful english dictionary

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