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limb1

[lim] /lɪm/
noun
1.
a part or member of an animal body distinct from the head and trunk, as a leg, arm, or wing:
the lower limbs; artificial limbs.
2.
a large or main branch of a tree.
3.
a projecting part or member:
the four limbs of a cross.
4.
a person or thing regarded as a part, member, branch, offshoot, or scion of something:
a limb of the central committee.
5.
Archery. the upper or lower part of a bow.
6.
Informal. a mischievous child, imp, or young scamp.
verb (used with object)
7.
to cut the limbs from (a felled tree).
Idioms
8.
out on a limb, in a dangerous or compromising situation; vulnerable:
The company overextended itself financially and was soon out on a limb.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English lim; akin to Old Norse lim foliage, limr limb, līmi rod, Latin līmus aslant, līmen threshold
Related forms
limbless, adjective
Synonyms
1. extremity. 2. See branch.

limb2

[lim] /lɪm/
noun
1.
Astronomy. the edge of the disk of the sun, a moon, or a planet.
2.
the graduated edge of a quadrant or similar instrument.
3.
Botany.
  1. the upper spreading part of a gamopetalous corolla.
  2. the expanded portion of a petal, sepal, or leaf.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin limbus; see limbus2, limbo1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for limbs
  • In autumn, the leaves drop to reveal the bare limbs.
  • In other words, humans coordinate locomotion of the lower limbs with voluntary movements of the upper limbs.
  • Half will likely experience damage to the nerves in their limbs.
  • Many mice and other small animals caught by glue traps end up gnawing off limbs or tearing skin in an attempt to escape.
  • Baker steps down into the crowd, now a sea of limbs holding digital cameras and angling for a keepsake shot.
  • Toilet paper clings to the bushes and tree limbs five or six feet up from the rushing stream.
  • Clients are sometimes led out onto limbs and abandoned there.
  • After he worked out, his old limbs trembled and his face stayed purple for twenty minutes.
  • In the wind their limbs cast, creak against each other, snap.
  • People have been knocked out of boats, received broken limbs from being attacked by these fish.
British Dictionary definitions for limbs

limb1

/lɪm/
noun
1.
an arm or leg, or the analogous part on an animal, such as a wing
2.
any of the main branches of a tree
3.
a branching or projecting section or member; extension
4.
a person or thing considered to be a member, part, or agent of a larger group or thing
5.
(mainly Brit) a mischievous child (esp in limb of Satan or limb of the devil)
6.
out on a limb
  1. in a precarious or questionable position
  2. (Brit) isolated, esp because of unpopular opinions
verb
7.
(transitive) a rare word for dismember
Derived Forms
limbless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English lim; related to Old Norse limr

limb2

/lɪm/
noun
1.
the edge of the apparent disc of the sun, a moon, or a planet
2.
a graduated arc attached to instruments, such as the sextant, used for measuring angles
3.
(botany)
  1. the expanded upper part of a bell-shaped corolla
  2. the expanded part of a leaf, petal, or sepal
4.
either of the two halves of a bow
5.
Also called fold limb. either of the sides of a geological fold
Word Origin
C15: from Latin limbus edge
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 limbs
limb
O.E. lim "limb, joint, main branch of a tree," from P.Gmc. *limu- (cf. O.N. limr "limb," lim "small branch of a tree"), a variant of *liþu- (cf. O.E. liþ, O.Fris. lith, O.N. liðr, Goth. liþus "a limb;" with prefix ga-, source of Ger. glied "limb, member"), from PIE base *lei- "to bend, be movable, be nimble." The parasitic -b began to appear late 1500s for no reason. In O.E., M.E., and until lately in dial., it could mean "any visible body part."
"The lymmes of generacion were shewed manyfestly." [Caxton, "The subtyl historyes and fables of Esope, Auyan, Alfonce, and Poge," 1484]
Hence, limb-lifter "fornicator" (1570s). To go out on a limb in figurative sense is from 1897. Life and limb in ref. to the body inclusively is from c.1200.
limb
1590s, "edge of a quadrant or other instrument," from L. limbus "border, hem, fringe, edge," cognate with Skt. lambate "hangs down," English limp. Astronomical sense of "edge of the disk of a heavenly body" first attested 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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limbs in Medicine

limb (lĭm)
n.

  1. One of the paired jointed extremities of the body; an arm or a leg.

  2. A segment of such a jointed structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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limbs in Science
limb
  (lĭm)   
  1. One of the appendages of an animal, such as an arm of a starfish, the flipper of dolphins, or the arm and leg of a human, used for locomotion or grasping.

  2. The expanded tip of a plant organ, such as a petal or corolla lobe.

  3. The circumferential edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for limbs

limb

Related Terms

go out on a limb, out on a limb


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with limbs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for limbs

9
12
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