\ ˈlim How to pronounce limb (audio) \

Definition of limb

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : one of the projecting paired appendages (such as wings) of an animal body used especially for movement and grasping but sometimes modified into sensory or sexual organs
b : a leg or arm of a human being combat soldiers who had lost limbs
2 : a large primary branch of a tree
3 : an active member or agent a limb of the law
4 : extension, branch a limb of the sea
5 : a mischievous child
out on a limb
: in an exposed or dangerous position with little chance of retreat


limbed; limbing; limbs

Definition of limb (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

2 : to cut off the limbs of (a felled tree)

Definition of limb (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : the outer edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body
2 : the expanded portion of an organ or structure especially : the upper spreading portion of a corolla (as of the phlox) whose lower part consists of a tube of fused petals

Other Words from limb

Noun (1)

limbless \ ˈlim-​ləs How to pronounce limbless (audio) \ adjective
limby \ ˈli-​mē How to pronounce limby (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of limb

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for limb

Noun (1) and Verb

Middle English lim, from Old English; akin to Old Norse limr limb and perhaps to Old English lith limb

Noun (2)

Latin limbus border

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Time Traveler for limb

Time Traveler

The first known use of limb was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Limb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/limb. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for limb


\ ˈlim How to pronounce limb (audio) \

Kids Definition of limb

1 : any of the paired parts (as an arm, wing, or leg) of an animal that stick out from the body and are used mostly in moving and grasping
2 : a large branch of a tree

Other Words from limb

limbed \ ˈlimd \ adjective
limbless \ ˈlim-​ləs \ adjective


\ ˈlim How to pronounce limb (audio) \

Medical Definition of limb

1 : one of the projecting paired appendages (as an arm, wing, fin, or parapodium) of an animal body made up of diverse tissues (as epithelium, muscle, and bone) derived from two or more germ layers and concerned especially with movement and grasping but sometimes modified into sensory or sexual organs especially : a human leg or arm
2 : a branch or arm of something (as an anatomical part) the descending limb of Henle's loop

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More from Merriam-Webster on limb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for limb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with limb

Spanish Central: Translation of limb

Nglish: Translation of limb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of limb for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about limb

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