Definition of extremity in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪkˈstrɛmɪti/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈstrɛmɪti/

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, boundary line, bound, bounding line, partition line, demarcation line, end point, cut-off point, termination;
perimeter, circumference, outside, outline, confine, periphery, outskirts, margin, brink, rim, lip, fringe, verge, threshold, compass
literary bourn, marge, skirt
rare ambit
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.
hands and feet, fingers and toes, limbs
2 [mass noun] The degree to which something is extreme: 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: 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;
crisis, emergency, disaster, catastrophe, calamity, cataclysm;
setback, reverse, reversal;
destitution, indigence, exigency
informal fix, pickle, jam, spot, bind, stew, scrape, hole, sticky situation, hot water, deep water, hell, hell on earth
British informal spot of bother


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex¦trem|ity

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