Definition of extremity in English:



  • 1The furthest point or limit of something.

    ‘the peninsula's western extremity’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although the Maginot Line stopped short of the Ardennes, much of this area consisted of steep hills covered by thick forest, and its western extremity was protected by the deep and wide River Meuse with its steeply escarped banks.’
    • ‘Neither one of us knew what hazards and beats awaited us at the extremity of this path.’
    • ‘Cyprus's southern extremity is just 200 kilometres from the Suez Canal.’
    • ‘George felt a mild tingling sensation surge into the furthest extremities of his fingers and toes.’
    • ‘Fundamentally, there is little to choose between the extremities of right and left in politics.’
    • ‘The town stands on a hill, and I was taken into the public garden at the extremity of the town.’
    • ‘There was one occasion when house fires broke out at the same time in each extremity.’
    • ‘For centuries it was part of a Roman burial ground, an unclean extremity lying beyond the walls of the City of London.’
    • ‘The final major feature is Circus Rift, which is at the western extremity of the Upper Series.’
    • ‘Some linkage groups may correspond to the extremities of chromosomes yet are unlinked to the arm to which they belong.’
    • ‘The eastern extremity of the peninsula is called Ackers Point.’
    • ‘Angling is from the boat only, and these are based at Stronaclachar near the western extremity.’
    • ‘A starting box containing the female was connected to the central branch of the Y maze, and two peripheral boxes, containing the males, were placed at the extremity of the secondary branches.’
    • ‘Set well back behind eroded cliffs close to the western extremity of St Abbs Head in Berwickshire, this is a boat dive in what could almost be described as a lagoon, protected from the chop and surge on the outside.’
    • ‘We're dealing here with the rule and not the exception, the middle, not the extremities.’
    • ‘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 hotel boasts stunning sea views and lies at the southern extremity of the Sinai peninsula.’
    limit, end, edge, side, farthest point, boundary, border, frontier, boundary line, bound, bounding line, partition line, demarcation line, end point, cut-off point, termination
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    1. 1.1extremities The hands and feet.
      ‘tingling and numbness in the extremities’
      • ‘Later, the upper extremities develop a glove pattern sensory loss beginning in the fingertips and progressing up the arms.’
      • ‘If you're like me and dread the time when you must constrain your toes and suffocate your lower extremities, don't!’
      • ‘My whole mouth throbs with each heartbeat, a little movement coming to my extremities, allowing me to flex my fingers.’
      • ‘It is the breath that radiates outward from the navel to the arms and legs, literally bringing life energy to the extremities.’
      • ‘The circulating nurse placed a sequential compression device on Mr V's left arm and lower extremities.’
      • ‘I was beginning to feel cold, a shaky internal cold that started in my middle and spread out to my extremities.’
      • ‘Swelling can affect the extremities, especially the ankles and toes, often later in pregnancy.’
      • ‘Thin extremities with arthrogrypotic fourth finger contractures bilaterally were also noted.’
      • ‘The extremities, especially the arms, were most often involved by these lesions.’
      • ‘It affects blood vessels in the extremities such as fingers and toes.’
      • ‘Following Nigel's advice, I made superhuman attempts to keep my extremities warm in sub human conditions of almost minus 40.’
      • ‘To prevent blacking out, I tighten every muscle in my lower extremities, from my stomach to the little tendons in my toes.’
      • ‘Hyperthermic therapy and limb perfusion may be used on extremities.’
      • ‘It is amazing to see a patient who can barely move his or her extremities put forth the effort to wiggle his or her fingers in my dog's soft fur.’
      • ‘When prey arrives they quickly seize its extremities, pulling on legs, arms and antennae until the hostage is rendered immobile.’
      • ‘Lukov was taken to the St. Ana hospital with a broken upper jaw, broken arm, medium brain injury and injuries in the extremities.’
      • ‘Most occur in the deep soft tissues of the proximal extremities, especially the thigh.’
      • ‘He's lounging around, not so casually, swatting any tender, caring hands away from his injured extremities.’
      • ‘His limbs looked flabby, his extremities bloated, his gut rose and fell with the labor of his breathing.’
      • ‘With me, it's extreme neuralgic pain - a nerve pain - in my lower extremities, from my knees down to my feet.’
      hands and feet, fingers and toes, limbs
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  • 2mass noun The degree to which something is extreme.

    ‘the extremity of the violence concerns us’
    • ‘I think it's certainly quite a lot of the comedy that I've been involved in is quite extreme, if you like, and the extremity is part of what's funny about it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But once we get beyond those clear points of extremity, I don't think we do find that there is consensus on what human rights are.’
    • ‘In so doing, he rejects the historicist injunction of authoritatively re-enacting the extremity of the past in favor of a modernist staging of the uncertain history of the present.’
    • ‘For the meantime he could only smile as if the world were bright and wonderful and hope that the extremity of his happiness would tell them something had changed.’
    • ‘In Being and Time, Heidegger carried Emersonian subjectivity and self-reliance to a point of new extremity.’
    • ‘The letters manage to humanise his juxtapositions of emotional extremity and spiritual clarity.’
    • ‘First, administration officials exaggerated the extremity of the possible responses.’
    • ‘You practise, you train incessantly just for such climactic moments of extremity, to be asked the crucial questions, and then to deliver.’
    • ‘It soon becomes clear that there are no markers by which extremity can actually be determined, whether in sexual terms or any other.’
    • ‘She starts, too, from positions of provoking extremity… but passes rapidly from violent identification to a blank disbelief in what she has undertaken to say.’
    • ‘Now the people with whom she sits are ones drawn to her very extremity.’
    • ‘‘There are not enough exclamation marks in this universe to convey the extremity of my recoil from a statement so reality-impaired,’ he wrote.’
    • ‘It is the filmmakers of East Asia who've cornered the market in outrage and extremity.’
    • ‘Once New Zealand realises the extremity and the radical nature of what that man is proposing with tax and other financial matters, they will be mortified.’
    • ‘It was evident in the extremity of his frown that Paul was trying to imagine what sort of a man could actually beat up Robert Matthews, and five others in the bargain-’
    • ‘And what surprises me is the extremity of the view he now expresses.’
    • ‘Indeed, the intensity of belonging to a culture of extremity is repeatedly amplified through the media.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I became alienated from everything that was going on around me - because of the violence and extremity of it.’
    intensity, high degree, magnitude, acuteness, ferocity, vehemence, fierceness, violence, severity, seriousness, strength, power, powerfulness, potency, vigour, force, forcefulness, gravity, graveness, severeness, grievousness
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    1. 2.1 A condition of extreme adversity.
      ‘the terror of an animal in extremity’
      • ‘Because man's extremity is God's opportunity!’
      • ‘My disappointment with Christian rock has always been its lack of extremity, of the aching sorrow or joy, the celebration or desperation that fuels the best rock and traditional black gospel music.’
      • ‘Yet the idea that some things should not be shown is persistent, and present even in extremity.’
      • ‘Many will find fault with such writing, written in conditions of extremity, and which rely on the immediacies of direct address.’
      • ‘Every scene enacts some moment of emotional extremity in which the characters are confronted by their inability to articulate their desires and react instead with violence and cruelty, the lees of love.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You often go to sites of extremity, crisis, and conflict that too often are depicted in a stereotypical or sensationalized manner in the press.’
      • ‘Through the examples of the various characters' responses to radical hardship and extremity in the wake of the war's carnage, the film presents the act of killing as the basis of human degradation and loss of self.’
      • ‘They are considered the Olympics of extremity.’
      • ‘Since the criteria of her anthology require a poet to have personally experienced political or social extremity, technically her own work is disqualified.’
      • ‘This's a fair sketch of idiosyncrasy run amuck, but it's also a compelling portrait of mental and spiritual extremity.’
      • ‘For the reader who doesn't share Harrison's fascination with physical extremity, though, the journey can seem less sensuous or revelatory than furtively pornographic.’
      dire straits, trouble, difficulty, hard times, hardship, adversity, misfortune, distress
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Late Middle English: from Old French extremite or Latin extremitas, from extremus ‘utmost’ (see extreme).