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

People who lack that ability—for example, people who have [a common complication of] diabetes or people who have leprosy [Hansen’s disease]—they don’t have sensation in their extremities. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "What Chili Peppers Can Teach Us about Pain," 5 Sep. 2019 By the time she was diagnosed, her fingers and toes had started to turn black due to a lack of blood flow and oxygen reaching her extremities. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, "This 37-Year-Old Woman Got Toxic Shock Syndrome From a Rug Burn on Her Arm—and Almost Died," 3 Sep. 2019 Kicker Brandon Ruiz also is out tonight with a lower extremity injury. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Rewind: Arizona State wins season opener over Kent State," 29 Aug. 2019 Fortunately, by the time practice was over, coach Freddie Kitchens and the players received the news that Thomas was moving all of his extremities. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Browns DE Chad Thomas has a sprained neck and is day-to-day after being carted off at Monday practice," 12 Aug. 2019 Muscle stiffness and muscle spasms People with MS experience stiffness and involuntary spasms in their extremities, especially the legs. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "7 Early Symptoms of MS In Women," 13 June 2019 Two other victims who were shot in their lower extremities and went to the hospital with nonfatal injuries were later identified. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore man could get life in prison after being convicted of murder, attempted murder in 2017 shooting spree," 12 June 2019 First among those is the habit of seeing Derry not as a remote extremity of Northern Ireland, but as a hub of the whole island’s north-west. The Economist, "Brexit or not, Derry will think in all-island terms," 10 Aug. 2019 And there are, FitzGerald observes, additional counter-weights that pull states back from the extremities of offshore bordering. Paul A. Kramer, The New Republic, "The Harsh World of Offshore Borders," 8 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for extremity

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for extremity

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

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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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to spread over or through

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