While I was reading A Study In Scarlet, I came across a paraphrase, and I don't understand that description. Here it is: "His hands were clenched and his arms thrown abroad, while his lower limbs were interlocked, as though his death struggle had been a grievous one." 

I don't understand the phrase that is written in bold text.

  • 1
    Flung wide, outstretched. Old-fashioned. Abroad dictionary definitions from Oxford Languages · adverb 1. in or to a foreign country or countries. 2. in different directions; over a wide area. Commented Mar 30 at 10:18
  • books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 30 at 10:49
  • 1
    Conan Doyle should probably have stuck with arms akimbo, same as everyone else. If you search for images, you'll see many people with clenched fists on their hips. Commented Mar 30 at 12:04
  • @FumbleFingers - This is a dead man with his arms flung out, not with his hands on his hips. Commented Mar 30 at 12:50
  • @KateBunting - 'akimbo' can mean [1] (of arms or legs) stretched out fully, [2] (of arms) bent at the elbows with the hands on the hips [3] (of legs) far apart or bent outwards in an awkward way. Cambridge Dictionary. I have to admit I was not aware of [1] and [3]. Commented Mar 30 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


The verb thrown there is not used in the sense of tossing a ball. It means to cause something to enter a state or condition very suddenly.

The room was still filled with smoke even though the windows had been thrown open.

Mary Poppins threw open her arms to embrace the children.

A series of natural disasters threw the country into disarray.

See definition #2 here.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .