Definition of extremity in English:

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Pronunciation: /ikˈstremədē/

noun (plural extremities)

1The furthest point or limit of something: the peninsula’s western extremity
More example sentences
  • At the western extremity of Florentine territory (in the outskirts of Pisa) was a historic Petrine site, the Romanesque church of San Piero a Grado.
  • The town stands on a hill, and I was taken into the public garden at the extremity of the town.
  • The North-East should be seen as a bridge to lands and opportunities beyond rather than as a cul-de-sac in a troublesome extremity of the country.
limit, end, edge, side, farthest point, boundary, border, frontier;
literary bourn, marge
1.1 (extremities) The hands and feet: tingling and numbness in the extremities
More example sentences
  • When prey arrives they quickly seize its extremities, pulling on legs, arms and antennae until the hostage is rendered immobile.
  • It affects blood vessels in the extremities such as fingers and toes.
  • The circulating nurse placed a sequential compression device on Mr V's left arm and lower extremities.
fingers and toes, hands and feet, limbs
2The extreme degree or nature of something: the extremity of the violence concerns us
More example sentences
  • I became alienated from everything that was going on around me - because of the violence and extremity of it.
  • The case of Vancouver's mass-murder of sex trade workers was rare because of its extremity, but violence on the stroll is nothing new.
  • The intensity and extremity of this expansion of experience is paralleled by the deepening of communion, by which particularity and individuation are shared with others.
2.1A condition of extreme adversity or difficulty: the terror of an animal in extremity
More example sentences
  • Yet the idea that some things should not be shown is persistent, and present even in extremity.
  • If we intervene only in extremity, only in order to stop mass murder and mass deportation, the idea that we are defending X's norms and not Y's is simply wrong.
  • In extremity, they rebelled and rioted with regularity and enthusiasm.
dire straits, trouble, difficulty, hard times, hardship, adversity, misfortune, distress;
(a) crisis, an emergency, (a) disaster, (a) catastrophe, calamity;
a predicament, a plight, mess, a dilemma
informal a fix, a pickle, a jam, a spot, a bind, a hole, a sticky situation, hot water, deep water


Late Middle English: from Old French extremite or Latin extremitas, from extremus 'utmost' (see extreme).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·trem·i·ty

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