from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The outermost or farthest point or portion.
  • n. The greatest or utmost degree: the extremity of despair.
  • n. Grave danger, necessity, or distress.
  • n. A moment at which death or ruin is imminent.
  • n. An extreme or severe measure.
  • n. A bodily limb or appendage.
  • n. A hand or foot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The most extreme or furthest point of something.
  • n. An extreme measure.
  • n. A hand or foot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The extreme part; the utmost limit; the farthest or remotest point or part.
  • n. One of locomotive appendages of an animal; a limb; a leg or an arm of man.
  • n. The utmost point; highest degree; most aggravated or intense form.
  • n. The highest degree of inconvenience, pain, or suffering; greatest need or peril; extreme need; necessity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The utmost point or side; the end or the verge; the point or border that terminates a thing: as, the extremities of a bridge; the extremities of a lake.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology, a limb or an organ of locomotion; an appendage or appendicular part of the body.
  • n. The highest degree; the most intense form: as, to suffer the extremity of pain or cruelty.
  • n. Extreme or utmost need, distress, or difficulty; the greatest degree of destitution or helplessness; specifically, death: as, a city besieged and reduced to extremity; man's extremity is God's opportunity.
  • n. plural Extreme measures: as, the commander was compelled to proceed to extremities.
  • n. Synonyms Extremity, End, Extreme, border, termination. Extremity is opposed to middle, end to beginning, and extreme to mean or moderate degree. Extreme is now used only in figurative senses; the others are literal or figurative. Extreme generally indicates that which is excessive, exaggerated, or extravagant: as, he was dressed in the extreme of the fashion; “avoid extremes,” Pope, Essay on Criticism, l. 385. For the direct expression of a great distress, etc., extremity is used, and extreme is rare or obsolete.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the outermost or farthest region or point
  • n. the greatest or utmost degree
  • n. an extreme condition or state (especially of adversity or disease)
  • n. that part of a limb that is farthest from the torso
  • n. an external body part that projects from the body


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English extremite, from Old French extremite, from Latin extremitas ("the extremity or end"), from extremis ("furthest, extreme"); see extreme.



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