ex·​trem·​i·​ty | \ik-ˈstre-mə-tē \
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

At first passengers reported tingling and pain in some extremities like ears and fingers, and then began struggling to breathe. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Passengers Injured After Flight Crew Forgets to Pressurize Cabin," 21 Sep. 2018 The bags, tied with loose string around the wrists and ankles, gave him bulbous extremities like paws. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 The corpses arrive wrapped in sheets and plastic, blackened and often missing extremities, filling the cavernous, metal-roofed warehouse with the unmistakable stench of death. Washington Post, "Grim task as forensic experts ID Guatemala volcano victims," 8 June 2018 Smith shot Pettway nine times, including in the chest and upper and lower extremities, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Cleveland man accused of chasing, gunning down man in Glenville," 8 Feb. 2018 According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms include fatigue, numbness or tingling in the face or extremities, dizziness, vertigo, balance issues, difficulty walking, weakness, vision issues, and bladder or bowel issues. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Selma Blair 'Thought Was a Pinched Nerve' Turned Out to Be MS," 22 Oct. 2018 The condition causes the body’s immune system to attack the nerves, and begins with weakness and tingling in the extremities, according to the Mayo Clinic. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, "Arizona College Student Paralyzed During Spain Vacation Opens Up About Her 'Living Nightmare'," 6 July 2018 The medical examiner also determined that Matthew died from multiple stab wounds to the head, torso and extremities. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "Married Couple Killed in Home Invasion with Son Fatally Stabbed 40-Plus Times as He Tried to Flee," 15 May 2018 Police said they were shot in the lower extremities. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Police investigating double shooting in Winton Hills," 11 July 2018

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

1 Dec 2018

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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

: a very great or extreme degree or amount of something (such as emotion or pain)


ex·​trem·​i·​ty | \ik-ˈstrem-ə-tē \
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 \
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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