|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|
|7.||(tr) a rare word for dismember|
|[Old English lim; related to Old Norse limr]|
|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|
|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]|
"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.
One of the paired jointed extremities of the body; an arm or a leg.
A segment of such a jointed structure.
|limb (lĭm) Pronunciation Key
out on a limb
In a difficult, awkward, or vulnerable position, as in I lodged a complaint about low salaries, but the people who had supported me left me out on a limb. This expression alludes to an animal climbing out on the limb of a tree and then being afraid or unable to retreat. [Late 1800s]