There are 2 main definitions of limb in English:

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limb1

Syllabification: limb

noun

1An arm or leg of a person or four-legged animal, or a bird’s wing.
Example sentences
  • Diaphanously winged and provided with limbs far too long and interestingly jointed to be in any way aerodynamic, it would appear to be some kind of mutant grasshopper, a cicada maybe?
  • The ability to reduce area and span during the recovery stroke is intimately associated with the design of the propulsive limbs in small animals.
  • The most common malformations are partial hind limbs, missing hind limbs, and missing toes.
Synonyms
arm, leg, appendage
archaic member
1.1A large branch of a tree.
Example sentences
  • Heavy snow and whipping winds can cause limbs from trees and shrubs to snap.
  • Plopping down under the leafy limbs of the shade-producing tree, she
  • They use a variety of foraging styles; most commonly they glean food from foliage while they climb about on tree limbs.
Synonyms
1.2A projecting landform such as a spur of a mountain range, or each of two or more such projections as in a forked peninsula or archipelago.
Example sentences
  • A quarter of a mile further on, at the eastern limb of the bay, the path descended steeply, zig-zagging across the cliff face to a stretch of beach to the east of Holland Point.
  • The eastern limb of the Klip River emanates from the park and flows southward, into other areas of Soweto, until it reaches the Vaal River further in the South.
1.3A projecting section of a building.
1.4A branch of a cross.
1.5Each half of an archery bow.
Example sentences
  • Slip the loop of the bowstring over the nock and down the limb of the bow and tie the free end of the string to the other nock using a timber hitch, bowline or similar non-stressing knot.
  • Using too few strands can over-stress the bow limbs and possibly break them.

Origin

Old English lim (also in the sense 'organ or part of the body'), of Germanic origin.

More
  • There was no ‘b’ in limb until the 16th century: the earlier form was lim. Old English thuma similarly became thumb in the 13th century. Words such as Old English comb and dumb that had always ended in -b may have influenced the new spelling. The limb in out on a limb is the branch of a tree, a sense of the same word. The image conjured up is of someone clinging precariously to the end of a projecting branch, with nothing or no one to assist them in their difficult situation.

Phrases

life and limb

1
Life and all bodily faculties: a reckless disregard for life and limb
More example sentences
  • It is a frightening thought that but for the willingness of these members to risk life and limb to help others and the efforts of fundraisers, many people would not be here today to thank them.
  • When ripe, the fruit turns a bright reddish orange and attracts pecking birds and children who risk life and limb to get at the juiciest looking cashew fruit.
  • They often work long hours under trying conditions, risking life and limb, and in the process they make positive contributions to society.

out on a limb

2
In or into a dangerous or uncompromising position, where one is not joined or supported by anyone else; vulnerable: she’s prepared to go out on a limb and do something different
More example sentences
  • I like hearing the candidates from both parties go out on a limb and proclaim their support for America, apple pie and motherhood.
  • As the movie came to an end, I was wondering if Payne was going to go out on a limb here and leave his central character in a worse position than at the start of the movie.
  • But if a manager ever decides to go out on a limb in pursuit of an unsecured position, then you probably won't hear about it until something goes wrong.
Synonyms
be put in a precarious position, become vulnerable, be put in a risky situation
informal be sticking one's neck out

tear someone limb from limb

3
Violently dismember someone.
Example sentences
  • The US sent troops to occupy Haiti in 1915 after a mob dragged President Guillaume Sam from his palace and tore him limb from limb.
  • I narrow my eyes in such a way that even if I'm not imagining tearing them limb from limb, if you caught my gaze at that moment you would at least think that's what I was imagining.
  • I think what he is implying is that he has a fearsome reputation and will tear you limb from limb, should the moment arise.

Derivatives

limbed

1
adjective
[in combination]: long-limbed

limbless

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • War has many horrors: widows and orphans created, toddlers rendered limbless, death, destruction and massive waste.
  • The images of suffering and mutilation, of limbless children and deformed young women, have been in the media for years, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
  • Scattered around the airstrip are some of Afghanistan's 10 million landmines, which every day leave innocent civilians limbless.

Words that rhyme with limb

bedim, brim, crim, dim, glim, grim, Grimm, gym, him, hymn, Jim, Kim, limn, nim, prim, quim, rim, scrim, shim, Sim, skim, slim, swim, Tim, trim, vim, whim

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There are 2 main definitions of limb in English:

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limb2

Syllabification: limb

noun

1 Astronomy The edge of the disk of a celestial object, especially the sun or moon.
Example sentences
  • It occurs when the limb of the Moon just touches the apparent edge of the Sun in the sky, but does not overlap it.
  • This image obtained by the Clementine satellite in 1994 shows the solar corona shining above the limb of the Moon.
  • The event is a moderate partial eclipse with the Moon's northern limb dipping 15 arc-minutes into Earth's umbral shadow.
2 Botany The blade or broad part of a leaf or petal.
Example sentences
  • As plants reached flowering maturity, the gender was noted and flower measurements were taken on petal limb, petal claw and calyx diameter.
2.1The spreading upper part of a tube-shaped flower.
3The graduated arc of a quadrant or other scientific instrument, used for measuring angles.

Origin

late Middle English: from French limbe or Latin limbus 'hem, border'.

More
  • There was no ‘b’ in limb until the 16th century: the earlier form was lim. Old English thuma similarly became thumb in the 13th century. Words such as Old English comb and dumb that had always ended in -b may have influenced the new spelling. The limb in out on a limb is the branch of a tree, a sense of the same word. The image conjured up is of someone clinging precariously to the end of a projecting branch, with nothing or no one to assist them in their difficult situation.

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