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 If the bite is on an extremity, try to avoid moving it so the circulation of the venom may be slowed. Kelli Smith, Dallas News, 15 July 2021 Each extremity extends toward the other through a different spatial plane. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 Some people just get scared by scary movies, but for me their very extremity feels therapeutic. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 22 June 2021 Caught in the extremity of their sudden freedom, Prentiss and Landry reluctantly agree to work for George on his quixotic peanut farm. Washington Post, 15 June 2021 Gonnerman, a New Yorker staff writer since 2015, offers a striking portrait of a man who responded to extremity with grace, and a vivid document of a terrible year. The New Yorker, 10 June 2021 Citing a decrease in concussions and lower extremity injuries, the union encouraged players to exercise their rights to take part in any offseason programs on a voluntary basis rather than yield to the unspoken pressure to attend all team sessions. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 24 May 2021 The scene is absurd, glitchy, unpredictable; what tethers it to the source material is the way in which its surrealist flights manifest emotional extremity. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 25 Feb. 2021 The dose for lower extremity joints (feet, ankles and knees) is double the dose of the joints in the upper extremities (hands, wrists and elbows). Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 2 Apr. 2021

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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Last Updated

28 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extremity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extremity. Accessed 4 Aug. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on extremity

Nglish: Translation of extremity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extremity for Arabic Speakers


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