Definition of limb noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//lɪm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//lɪm//
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  1. 1an arm or a leg; a similar part of an animal, such as a wing an artificial limb For a while, she lost the use of her limbs.
  2. 2-limbed (in adjectives) having the type of limbs mentioned long-limbed loose-limbed More Like This Compound adjectives for physical characteristics -beaked, -bellied, -billed, -blooded, -bodied, -cheeked, -chested, -eared, -eyed, -faced, -fingered, -footed, -haired, -handed, -headed, -hearted, -hipped, -lidded, -limbed, -mouthed, -necked, -nosed, -skinned, -tailed, -throated, -toothedSee worksheet.
  3. 3a large branch of a tree More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  4. Word OriginOld English lim (also in the sense ‘organ or part of the body’), of Germanic origin.Extra examples I stretched my limbs lazily as I sat up. The animal is able to stand up on its hind limbs. The missing limb did not lessen the quality of the cat’s life. Two arms reached around her flailing limbs. people who have lost limbs in battle sensations felt in phantom limbs after amputationIdioms (informal) not supported by other people Are you prepared to go out on a limb (= risk doing something that other people are not prepared to do) and make your suspicions public? His controversial stance has left him out on a limb.
    risk life and limb, risk your neck
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    to risk being killed or injured in order to do something She risked life and limb to save her children from the fire. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet.
    tear/rip somebody limb from limb
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    (often humorous) to attack somebody very violently
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: limb

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