extremity
Pronunciation
  • (RP) enPR: ĭkstrĕ'mĭtē, IPA: /ɪkˈstɹɛmɪti/, /ɛk-/
  • (GA) IPA: /ɪkˈstɹɛməti/, /-ɾi/
Noun

extremity (obsolete)

  1. The most extreme or furthest point#Noun|point of something. [from c. 1400]
    • 1576, George Whetstone, “The Castle of Delight: […]”, in The Rocke of Regard, Diuided into Foure Parts. [...], Imprinted at London: [By H. Middleton] for Robert Waley, OCLC 837515946 ↗; republished in J[ohn] P[ayne] Collier, editor, The Rocke of Regard, Diuided into Foure Parts. [...] (Illustrations of Early English Poetry; vol. 2, no. 2), London: Privately printed, [1867?], OCLC 706027473 ↗, pages 55–56 ↗:
      [B]eſtowe your love on him, who, were it not to do you ſervice, would through the extremitie of love rather wiſh to die then live.
    • 1843 December 18, Charles Dickens, “Stave I. Marley’s Ghost.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 55746801 ↗, page 10 ↗:
      Scrooge said that he would see him—yes, indeed he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity [i.e., hell] first.
  2. An extreme measure#Noun|measure.
    • 1726 October 27, [Jonathan Swift], “A Phænomenon Solved by Modern Philosophy and Astronomy. The Laputians Great Improvements in the Latter. The King’s Method of Suppressing Insurrections.”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. […] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume II, London: Printed for Benj[amin] Motte, […], OCLC 995220039 ↗, part III (A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdribb, Luggnagg, and Japan), page 45 ↗:
      But if they ſtill continue obſtinate, or offer to raiſe Inſurrections, he proceeds to the laſt Remedy, by letting the Iſland drop directly upon their Heads, which makes a universal Deſtruction both of Houſes and Men. However, this is an Extremity to which the Prince is ſeldom driven, neither indeed is he willing to put it in execution, nor dare his Miniſters adviſe him to an Action, which, as it would render them odious to the People, ſo it would be a great damage to their own Eſtates, which lie all below, for the Iſland is the King's demesne#English|Demeſn.
  3. A hand#Noun|hand or foot#Noun|foot. [from early 15th c.]
    Guillain–Barré syndrome causes one to not be able to move one’s extremities.
  4. A limb. [from early 15th c.]
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