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 And much like the heel is the extremity of the body, ekev can also refer to the redemptive period that will come at the end of days (acharit ha-yamim). Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, "Eikev parsha: What appears less important is of great importance," 3 Aug. 2020 If all this seems depressingly male—man’s fear that his desire for woman is necessarily violent and transgressive—the Austrian Nobel winner Elfriede Jelinek offers a woman’s take on the predicament, one of unparalleled extremity. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "Indulging with Control in Fiction," 24 June 2020 The sheer, somatic extremity of such a scene throws the player back out of the body of their avatar and onto their couch. Nick Capozzoli, Ars Technica, "How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war," 22 Nov. 2019 Is extremity the antidote to bewilderment, to apathy, to the middling status quo? Meara Sharma, New York Times, "The New Shape of Fashion," 14 Mar. 2018 But all women face the central point of discrimination albeit the extremity of which may be different from Michigan to Kigali and from Manchester to Kabul. Marie Claire, "Charities & Volunteering," 7 Mar. 2010 Meredith is the one who notices the most telling symptoms of the medical crisis: Richard’s numb extremities and extreme sensitivity to touch. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 Is Now On Netflix. Is Meredith Grey Still its Star?," 9 May 2020 At the other extreme of cosmic extremities are supermassive black holes — weighing in at millions of billions of solar masses — squatting in the centers of galaxies. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Deep in the Cosmic Forest, a Black Hole Goldilocks Might Like," 6 May 2020 The University of Pittsburgh research assistant professor, identified as Bing Liu, was found in his townhouse Saturday with gunshot wounds to the head, neck, torso and extremities, according to the Ross Police Department. Carma Hassan And Rebekah Riess, CNN, "Professor on the verge of 'very significant' Covid-19 findings was killed in an apparent murder-suicide, officials say," 6 May 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

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Extremity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extremity. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for extremity


How to pronounce extremity (audio)

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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