ex·​trem·​i·​ty | \ ik-ˈstre-mə-tē How to pronounce extremity (audio) \
plural extremities

Definition of extremity

1a : the farthest or most remote part, section, or point the island's westernmost extremity
b : a limb of the body especially : a human hand or foot
2a : extreme danger or critical need
b : a moment marked by imminent destruction or death
3a : an intense degree the extremity of his participationSaturday Rev.
b : the utmost degree (as of emotion or pain)
4 : a drastic or desperate act or measure driven to extremities

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Examples of extremity in a Sentence

The extremity of her grief is impossible to imagine. made offers of aid to the refugees, and of asylum in extremity
Recent Examples on the Web What Lee is after in both the karaoke and curry episodes is extremity, pushing oneself to be more fully part of the world. New York Times, "He Can’t Carry a Tune, but Chang-rae Lee Has a Song to Sing," 31 Jan. 2021 But as the ancient tragedians understood, universal patterns become more visible in extremity when sensationalism is resisted for starker truths. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Times are bad, so keep your uplift. Give me ‘Crime and Punishment’ and ‘The Godfather’," 14 Jan. 2021 The extremity of emotion that pulsed through the congregation every Sunday alarmed me. James Wood, The New Yorker, "Does Knowing God Just Take Practice?," 2 Nov. 2020 Too many Americans bleed to death every year from severe extremity hemorrhage. Frank K. Butler And John B. Holcomb, WSJ, "The Military Learned to Stop the Bleeding," 20 Dec. 2020 The analysis shows that players have a 28% overall higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries on turf. Brian Dulik, Star Tribune, "NFLPA asking teams to change all fields to natural grass," 30 Sep. 2020 The toddler was wounded in a lower extremity, the caller said. Washington Post, "Shooting of Montgomery County toddler under investigation," 6 Dec. 2020 Childhood for the Jamesons was an extremity of delight (unearned) and punishment (undeserved). Vivian Gornick, Harper's Magazine, "“If Only I Could Begin Again!”," 24 Nov. 2020 The four, said by police to be between ages 12 and 15, sustained low extremity injuries that weren't considered life threatening and were transported to Cincinnati Children's Medical Hospital. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "Police: 4 children shot in Winton Terrace, taken to Children's Hospital," 14 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extremity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of extremity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for extremity

Time Traveler

The first known use of extremity was in the 14th century

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Statistics for extremity

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extremity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extremity. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for extremity



English Language Learners Definition of extremity

: a hand or foot
: the farthest limit, point, or part of something
formal : a very great or extreme degree or amount of something (such as emotion or pain)


ex·​trem·​i·​ty | \ ik-ˈstrem-ə-tē How to pronounce extremity (audio) \
plural extremities

Kids Definition of extremity

1 : the farthest limit, point, or part the extremity of the island
2 : an end part (as a foot) of a limb of the body
3 : an extreme degree (as of emotion)


ex·​trem·​i·​ty | \ ik-ˈstrem-ət-ē How to pronounce extremity (audio) \
plural extremities

Medical Definition of extremity

1 : the farthest or most remote part, section, or point
2 : a limb of the body especially : a human hand or foot

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Comments on extremity

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