from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Worn out; threadbare; used up; trite.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • My frayed and out-at-elbows jacket was the badge and advertisement of my class, which was their class.


  • Formerly, in his younger days, he must have mingled in the out-at-elbows society of people living on a humble scale.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • Titus Alden, who, in an old, thread-bare and out-at-elbows coat, as well as baggy, worn, jean trousers and rough, shineless, ill-fitting country shoes, desired by his look to know what he wanted.

    An American Tragedy

  • Yet whereas we were out-at-elbows, the carpenters were sleek, respectable, monied, well-clad fellows.

    Through Russia

  • It is the _spectre rouge_, or, to be more accurate as to local colour, the _spectre vert_ of the Irish alarmist, and a poor, ragged, out-at-elbows spectre it is, altogether very much the worse for wear.

    Disturbed Ireland Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81.

  • She loved the Italian sea and the warm southern sunshine; and the dear old "out-at-elbows" villa on the heights above Sorrento was the nearest thing she had known to a home.

    Betty Wales Senior

  • I remembered that I was dressed roughly, was torn and rumpled by my contest with the forest, and that I must appear an out-at-elbows


  • He turned his hand to every sort of work, he did odd jobs during the day and played his violin for dancing at night, he grew lean and out-at-elbows and graver than he used to be.

    The Windy Hill

  • A shabby, disreputable, out-at-elbows office coat was worn over his ultra-smart street clothes, and he was puffing at a freakish little pipe in the shape of a miniature automobile.

    Dawn O'Hara, the Girl Who Laughed

  • I bought her from an out-at-elbows ruffian, on my way hither.

    The Black Moth: A Romance of the XVIII Century


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