verb (used with object)

to cut the limbs from (a felled tree).

Nearby words

  1. limacine,
  2. liman,
  3. limassol,
  4. limavady,
  5. limaçon,
  6. limb bud,
  7. limb lead,
  8. limb-girdle muscular dystrophy,
  9. limba,
  10. limbate


    out on a limb, in a dangerous or compromising situation; vulnerable: The company overextended itself financially and was soon out on a limb.

Origin of limb

before 900; Middle English, Old English lim; akin to Old Norse lim foliage, limr limb, līmi rod, Latin līmus aslant, līmen threshold

Related formslimb·less, adjective

Can be confusedlimb limn

Synonym study

2. See branch. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for limbless

British Dictionary definitions for limbless




an arm or leg, or the analogous part on an animal, such as a wing
any of the main branches of a tree
a branching or projecting section or member; extension
a person or thing considered to be a member, part, or agent of a larger group or thing
mainly British a mischievous child (esp in limb of Satan or limb of the devil)
out on a limb
  1. in a precarious or questionable position
  2. Britishisolated, esp because of unpopular opinions


(tr) a rare word for dismember
Derived Formslimbless, adjective

Word Origin for limb

Old English lim; related to Old Norse limr




the edge of the apparent disc of the sun, a moon, or a planet
a graduated arc attached to instruments, such as the sextant, used for measuring angles
  1. the expanded upper part of a bell-shaped corolla
  2. the expanded part of a leaf, petal, or sepal
either of the two halves of a bow
Also called: fold limb either of the sides of a geological fold

Word Origin for limb

C15: from Latin limbus edge

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for limbless
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for limbless




One of the paired jointed extremities of the body; an arm or a leg.
A segment of such a jointed structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for limbless



One of the appendages of an animal, such as an arm of a starfish, the flipper of dolphins, or the arm and leg of a human, used for locomotion or grasping.
The expanded tip of a plant organ, such as a petal or corolla lobe.
The circumferential edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with limbless


see out on a limb; risk life and limb.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.