There are 2 definitions of limbo in English:


Syllabification: lim·bo
Pronunciation: /ˈlimbō


1 (also Limbo) (In some Christian beliefs) the supposed abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, and of the just who died before Christ’s coming.
More example sentences
  • She wore a black bonnet to match her dress and gloves; to Jeremiah she looked like an engraving he'd once seen of a restless soul in limbo.
  • Some theologians have taught the existence of a place or state called Limbo which is intermediate between Heaven and Hell.
  • At school, like my peers, I was indoctrinated in the mysteries of original and venal sin, virgin birth, the respective criteria for entry to limbo, purgatory, and heaven.
2An uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition: the fate of the Contras is now in limbo
More example sentences
  • So there they stayed, in limbo, until after resolution 1441 when last November they were allowed to return.
  • But the decision still left them in limbo until a final decision could be made on the park's future.
  • The players and the many supporters who turn out each week to get behind their club, deserve much better than being left in limbo for an indefinite period.
2.1A state of neglect or oblivion: children left in an emotional limbo
More example sentences
  • In time, argues Winnicott, the transitional object is relegated to limbo, neither mourned nor forgotten, just losing its meaning.


late Middle English: from the medieval Latin phrase in limbo, from limbus 'hem, border, limbo'.

Definition of limbo in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day setose
Pronunciation: ˈsiːtəʊs
bearing bristles or setae; bristly

There are 2 definitions of limbo in English:


Syllabification: lim·bo
Pronunciation: /

noun (plural limbos)

A West Indian dance in which the dancer bends backward to pass under a horizontal bar that is progressively lowered to a position just above the ground.
More example sentences
  • Play limbo, dance barefoot and swim like a tropical fish.
  • The Trinidadians must take credit/responsibility for the limbo, that impressive athletic feat which is now the scourge of every tropical party.


[no object] Back to top  
Perform the limbo.
More example sentences
  • While listening to calypso music, many of those being entertained like to dance the limbo, a dance very popular among Grenadian Americans.
  • Conway Twitty was playing on my dad's phonograph, and she was dancing the limbo.
  • Children from the day nursery made their own party food and danced and performed the limbo.


1950s: from limber1.

Definition of limbo in: