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Limbo is an interesting word with two unrelated definitions. We will look at the various meanings of the word limbo, where these meanings came from and some examples of the word limbo used in sentences.

The oldest meaning of the word Limbo is a place where the souls of the unbaptized go, which includes righteous people who lived before the time of Christ and infants who die before they are baptized. Limbo supposedly exists on the edge of hell, housing souls that are too good to be damned to eternal torment but are not saved through Christian baptism. The word Limbo is derived from the Latin word limbus which means border or edge. For most Christians, the idea of Limbo is an antiquated notion. When this word is used to denote a theological idea, it is should be capitalized. Limbo may be used figuratively to refer to any situation in which one is in a state of waiting, a state of indecision, a place where one is waiting for the next step. Limbo may also refer to a place of oblivion. When using the word limbo figuratively, it should not be capitalized.

Finally, the word limbo may refer to a West Indian dance. In the limbo, the dancer bends backward in order to pass under a bar held horizontally to the ground. The dancers must pass under the bar without touching either the bar or the ground. After each round, the bar is lowered. It is assumed that in this case, the word limbo is derived from the word limber, which means supple. Limbo is used as a verb when meaning to dance the limbo, related words are limbos, limboed, limboing. 


New Zealand has been left in electoral limbo again after kingmaker Winston Peters said his board and caucus had failed to reach a decision about which major party to support in government. (The Guardian)

In my last article, I explained why the Limbo of Infants is not defined Catholic dogma, but instead a “theological hypothesis” (to use Ratzinger’s words) that Catholics are free to accept or to not accept. (The National Catholic Register)

A WICKEDLY limber limbo dancer has been filmed bending over backwards to get a round in by carrying a tray of drinks under a car. (The Sun)