September 11, 2012
akimbo ()
\uh-KIM-boh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : having the hand on the hip and the elbow turned outward2 : set in a bent position
How do you use it?
Clarissa stood akimbo before me, hands planted firmly on her hips, tapping her foot and glaring at me for being so slow when she was in a hurry.
Are you a word wiz?

Oops! We forgot to tell you the part of speech for "akimbo." Look at the example sentence for today. Which part of speech is "akimbo" in that sentence?

In our example sentence, "akimbo" modifies the verb "stood"; adverbs modify verbs, so in our sentence, "akimbo" functions as an adverb. "Akimbo" is a tricky word that can act as either an adverb or an adjective. When you say, "stand akimbo" or "your arms go akimbo," the word is behaving as an adverb it modifies a verb. But when you say, "sit with your legs akimbo" or "Clarissa stood with her arms akimbo," the word "akimbo" modifies a noun and so functions as an adjective.
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