Definitions

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. The branch of a tree: applied only to a branch of some size, and not to a small twig.
  • n. The part of a bow above or below the grip or handle.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A mischievous or roguish person, especially a young person; an imp; a scapegrace; a scamp.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In astronomy, the border or outermost edge of the disk of the sun or moon.
  • n. The graduated edge of a circle or other astronomical or surveying instrument, etc.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In botany, the border or upper spreading part of a monopetalous corolla, or of a petal or sepal.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In botany:
  • n. The blade or broad part of a leaf.

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

  • n. (astronomy) the circumferential edge of the apparent disc of the sun or the moon or a planet
  • n. any projection that is thought to resemble a human arm
  • n. any of the main branches arising from the trunk or a bough of a tree
  • n. the graduated arc that is attached to an instrument for measuring angles
  • n. one of the jointed appendages of an animal used for locomotion or grasping: arm; leg; wing; flipper
  • n. either of the two halves of a bow from handle to tip

Etymologies

Alteration (probably influenced by limb2) of Middle English lim, from Old English.
Middle English, graduated edge of an astronomical instrument, from Old French limbe, from Latin limbus, border.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin limbus, "border". (Wiktionary)
From Middle English lim and Old English lim. The silent -b began to appear in the late 1500s. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • 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


  • 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