limb

1 [lim]
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:
before 900; Middle English, Old English lim; akin to Old Norse lim foliage, limr limb, līmi rod, Latin līmus aslant, līmen threshold

limbless, adjective


1. extremity. 2. See branch.
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limb

2 [lim]
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.
a.
the upper spreading part of a gamopetalous corolla.
b.
the expanded portion of a petal, sepal, or leaf.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin limbus; see limbus2, limbo1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
limb1 (lɪm)
 
n
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.  chiefly (Brit) a mischievous child (esp in limb of Satanorlimb of the devil)
6.  out on a limb
 a.  in a precarious or questionable position
 b.  (Brit) isolated, esp because of unpopular opinions
 
vb
7.  (tr) a rare word for dismember
 
[Old English lim; related to Old Norse limr]
 
limbed1
 
adj
 
'limbless1
 
adj

limb2 (lɪm)
 
n
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
 a.  the expanded upper part of a bell-shaped corolla
 b.  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
 
[C15: from Latin limbus edge]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
limb   (lĭm)  Pronunciation Key 
  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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Example sentences
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.
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