Limbus

Limbus

1. An extramundane region where certain classes of souls were supposed to await the judgment. As far from help as Limbo is from bliss. (Shak) A Limbo large and broad, since called The paradise of fools. (Milton)

The limbus patrum was considered as a place for the souls of good men who lived before the coming of our Savior. The limbus infantium was said to be a similar place for the souls of unbaptized infants. To these was added, in the popular belief, the limbus fatuorum, or fools paradise, regarded as a receptacle of all vanity and nonsense.

2. Hence: Any real or imaginary place of restraint or confinement; a prison; as, to put a man in limbo.

3. (Science: anatomy) a border or margin; as, the limbus of the cornea. 4. A west indian dance contest, in which participants must dance under a pole which is lowered successively until only one participant can successfully pass under, without falling. [MW10 Jamaican E limba to bend, fr. E. Limber (1950)] Often performed at celebrations, such as weddings. (1950-1996)

Origin: L. Limbus border, edge in limbo on the border. Cf. Limb border.

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