limb

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be out on a limb

To have done or said something that lacks evidence or support. Her hypothesis is really out on a limb—the facts don't support it at all. That politician is out on a limb after publicly questioning the views of his party.
See also: limb, on, out

life and limb

One's bodily well-being, up to and including one's life. Usually used when describing something that might cause severe injury or death, especially in the phrase "risk life and limb." Today we pay our respects to the brave men and women who risk life and limb every day to keep our country safe. I'm sure it's thrilling, but I'd rather not chance life and limb just for a bit of an adrenaline rush.
See also: and, life, limb

risk life and limb

To do something that might cause severe injury or death. Today we pay our respects to the brave men and women who risk life and limb every day to keep our country safe. I'm sure it's thrilling, but I'd rather not risk life and limb just for a bit of an adrenaline rush.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

tear (one) limb from limb

To violently maim a person or animal. If I find out that you're the one who hurt my daughter, I will tear you limb from limb, understand?
See also: limb, tear

*out on a limb

 
1. Lit. out on a limb of a tree where it is dangerous. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) It's okay to climb the tree, but don't go out on a limb and fall off.
2. Fig. in a dangerous position to do something; at risk. (*Typically: be ~; go ~; put someone ~.) I don't want to go out on a limb, but I think we can afford to do it. If I had to go out on a limb, I would say that it will be a month before your merchandise will be delivered.
See also: limb, on, out

tear (someone or some animal) limb from limb

to rip someone or an animal to bits. The explosion tore the workers limb from limb. The crocodiles attacked the wading zebras and tore them limb from limb.
See also: limb, tear

out on a limb

In a difficult, awkward, or vulnerable position, as in I lodged a complaint about low salaries, but the people who had supported me left me out on a limb . This expression alludes to an animal climbing out on the limb of a tree and then being afraid or unable to retreat. [Late 1800s]
See also: limb, on, out

risk life and limb

Also, risk one's neck. Take dangerous chances, as in There he was on the roof, risking life and limb to rescue the kitten, or I don't want to risk my neck contradicting him. The first hyperbolic expression, dating from the early 1600s, doesn't make sense, since if one loses one's life one also loses the use of one's limbs. The variant, used for risky undertakings of all kinds, physical and nonphysical, presumably alludes to being hanged or beheaded. Also see stick one's neck out.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

risk life and limb

If you risk life and limb, you do something very dangerous that may cause you to die or be seriously injured. He is not prepared to risk life and limb on this dangerous track to win the title. She gets a thrill risking life and limb by leaping off cliffs and mountains.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

go out on a limb

COMMON If you go out on a limb, you do something or say something that is different from what most people do or say and is therefore risky. He does not want to go out on a limb and try something completely new. There's nothing wrong with politicians going out on a limb sometimes and risking their reputation.
See also: limb, on, out

out on a limb

or

on a limb

If you are out on a limb or are on a limb, you are alone and without any help or support. No company wants to be the first to put its rates up. The companies who have tried have found themselves out on a limb. She felt on a limb at the ministry. Note: In this expression, a limb is a branch of a tree. The image here is of someone who climbs out along a limb, away from the main trunk.
See also: limb, on, out

tear someone limb from limb

If someone threatens to tear you limb from limb, they say they will kill you in a very violent way. It was lucky for him the police found him before I did because I would have torn him limb from limb.
See also: limb, tear

(out) on a limb

Informal
In a difficult, awkward, or vulnerable position.
See also: limb, on
References in periodicals archive ?
through the fog and salted myself, like a limbed egg, like food
Trees were limbed to remove mistletoe and hazard branches.
The Tree Recycling Yard offers free pickup to remove felled and limbed trees in the San Francisco Bay Area.