Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Astronomy The circumferential edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body.
  • noun Mathematics The edge of a graduated arc or circle used in an instrument to measure angles.
  • noun Botany The expanded tip of a plant organ, such as a petal or corolla lobe.
  • noun One of the larger branches of a tree.
  • noun One of the jointed appendages of an animal, such as an arm, leg, wing, or flipper, used for locomotion or grasping.
  • noun An extension or a projecting part, as of a building or mountain range.
  • noun An extension or part distinguished from the main body or group.
  • noun A member or representative of a group.
  • noun Archaic An impish child.
  • transitive verb To remove the branches from.
  • idiom ((out) on a limb) In a difficult, awkward, or vulnerable position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In geology, that portion of an anticline or syncline which lies on either side respectively of the arch or trough. Also called leg and flank.
  • noun In botany:
  • noun The blade or broad part of a leaf.
  • noun In astronomy, the border or outermost edge of the disk of the sun or moon.
  • noun The graduated edge of a circle or other astronomical or surveying instrument, etc.
  • noun In zoology, the lateral area or marginal band of the cephalic shield of trilobites on either side of the glabellum, corresponding to a pleuron of the thoracic region.
  • noun In botany, the border or upper spreading part of a monopetalous corolla, or of a petal or sepal.
  • noun A part or member of an animal body distinct from the head and trunk; an appendicular member; a leg, an arm, or a wing: often limited in meaning to the leg, at present general out of affected or prudish unwillingness to use the word leg.
  • noun The branch of a tree: applied only to a branch of some size, and not to a small twig.
  • noun The part of a bow above or below the grip or handle.
  • noun A thing or person regarded as a part of something else; a part; a member: as, a limb of the devil; a limb of the law.
  • noun A mischievous or roguish person, especially a young person; an imp; a scapegrace; a scamp.
  • noun Synonyms See member.
  • To supply with limbs.
  • To dismember; tear or carve off the limbs of: as, to limb a turkey; to limb a tree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To supply with limbs.
  • transitive verb To dismember; to tear off the limbs of.
  • noun (Bot.) The border or upper spreading part of a monopetalous corolla, or of a petal, or sepal; blade.
  • noun (Astron.) The border or edge of the disk of a heavenly body, especially of the sun and moon.
  • noun The graduated margin of an arc or circle, in an instrument for measuring angles.
  • noun A part of a tree which extends from the trunk and separates into branches and twigs; a large branch.
  • noun An arm or a leg of a human being; a leg, arm, or wing of an animal.
  • noun A thing or person regarded as a part or member of, or attachment to, something else.
  • noun An elementary piece of the mechanism of a lock.
  • noun [Colloq.] a lawyer or an officer of the law.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun astronomy The apparent visual edge of a celestial body.
  • noun on a measuring instrument The graduated edge of a circle or arc.
  • noun A major appendage of human or animal, used for locomotion (such as an arm, leg or wing)
  • noun A branch of a tree.
  • noun archery The part of the bow, from the handle to the tip.
  • noun botany The border or upper spreading part of a monopetalous corolla, or of a petal or sepal; blade.
  • noun astronomy The border or edge of the disk of a heavenly body, especially of the sun or moon.
  • noun The graduated margin of an arc or circle in an instrument for measuring angles.
  • verb To remove the limbs from an animal or tree.

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

  • noun (astronomy) the circumferential edge of the apparent disc of the sun or the moon or a planet
  • noun any projection that is thought to resemble a human arm
  • noun any of the main branches arising from the trunk or a bough of a tree
  • noun the graduated arc that is attached to an instrument for measuring angles

Etymologies

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

[Middle English limbe, graduated edge of an astronomical instrument, from Old French, from Latin limbus, border.]

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

[Alteration (probably influenced by limb) of Middle English lim, from Old English.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin limbus, "border".

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lim and Old English lim. The silent -b began to appear in the late 1500s.

Examples

Comments

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  • Be like the bird, who

    Halting in his flight

    On limb too slight

    Feels it give way beneath him,

    Yet sings

    Knowing he hath wings.

    - Victor Hugo, 'Be Like The Bird'.

    November 17, 2008

  • In palynology, a synonym of equatorial outline.

    Wodehouse, R.P., 1935. Pollen grains. Their structure, identification and significance in science and medicine. McGraw-Hill, New York, 574 pp.

    December 14, 2010

  • In NASAspeak, it includes the atmosphere in the disk of an object.

    "Some of the most breathtaking views of Earth taken from space are those that capture our planet’s limb. When viewed from the side, the Earth looks like a flat circle, and the atmosphere appears like a halo around it. This edge of the atmosphere is known as the limb. Viewed from satellites, space shuttles, and even the moon, the image of this luminous envelope of gases shielding the life on our planet from the dark, cold space beyond rarely fails to fascinate us." - NASA visible earth.

    August 25, 2017