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[ik-strem-i-tee] /ɪkˈstrɛm ɪ ti/
noun, plural extremities.
the extreme or terminal point, limit, or part of something.
a limb of the body.
Usually, extremities. the end part of a limb, as a hand or foot:
to experience cold in one's extremities.
Often, extremities. a condition or circumstance of extreme need, distress, etc.:
to suffer the extremities of being poor.
the utmost or any extreme degree:
the extremity of joy.
an extreme or extraordinary measure, act, etc.:
to go to any extremity to feed the children.
extreme nature or character:
the extremity of his views on foreign trade.
Archaic. a person's last moment before death.
Origin of extremity
1325-75; Middle English < Latin extrēmitās. See extreme, -ity
Related forms
superextremity, noun, plural superextremities.
1. end, termination; verge; border, boundary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extremity
  • Lower extremity venography is a test used to see the veins in the leg.
  • To many of his colleagues, he seemed to take delight in testing the limits of the law to their extremity.
  • Shown here is erythema following the vascular pattern on a lower extremity.
  • So would many other countries, in their own extremity.
  • Most common reported injuries were lacerations and upper extremity injuries.
  • However, the extremity of the cost does create a strong disincentive.
  • Studies of the bones of the upper extremity indicate that he was right-handed.
  • The possible failure of our water supply naturally draws attention to all available resources in such an extremity.
  • Each character is carried to an unnatural extremity.
  • The dot-com revolution stretched valuations to extremity.
British Dictionary definitions for extremity


noun (pl) -ties
the farthest or outermost point or section; termination
the greatest or most intense degree
an extreme condition or state, as of adversity or disease
a limb, such as a leg, arm, or wing, or the part of such a limb farthest from the trunk
(usually pl) (archaic) a drastic or severe measure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for extremity

late 14c., from Old French estremite (13c.), from Latin extremitatem (nominative extremitas) "the end of a thing," from extremus; see extreme, the etymological sense of which is better preserved in this word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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extremity in Medicine

extremity ex·trem·i·ty (ĭk-strěm'ĭ-tē)

  1. An end of an elongated or pointed structure.

  2. A bodily limb or appendage.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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