risk life and 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

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

risk ˌlife and ˈlimb

risk being killed or injured in order to do something: She risked life and limb to save her son from the fire.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

risk life and limb, to

To take a serious chance; to jeopardize one’s life. This extravagant hyperbole for courting danger has been around since the seventeenth century, even though strictly speaking it makes little sense (life, after all, comprises one’s limbs as well). “The Turk meddles not with life and limb,” wrote James Howell in a letter (1623), and Thomas Burton’s diary entry of 1658 states, “They venture life and member.”
See also: and, life, risk
References in classic literature ?
"Our dear companion Will Stutely hath been taken by that vile Sheriff's men, therefore doth it behoove us to take bow and brand in hand to bring him off again; for I wot that we ought to risk life and limb for him, as he hath risked life and limb for us.
The revered Olympian is in the newest reality show, called The Jump, where a gaggle of celebs risk life and limb in a selection of winter sports.
It is difficult to understand the mentality of pedestrians who value their lives so little that they will risk life and limb to save a few seconds' wait at a pedestrian crossing.
But there's a new breed of people who are seemingly willing to risk life and limb in an attempt to push boundaries and carry out dangerous tasks nobody has ever done before - and some of them are featured in this documentary.
I have received numerous complaints from constituents who have damaged their cars as a result of potholes, so I am sure it will be good news for both the motorist and the cyclists who risk life and limb trying to avoid the holes in our roads.
How they risk life and limb every time they race and go without food to make the racing weight.
Someone actually handed the 15-year-old the keys and allowed him to risk life and limb in the pounds 200,000 supercar.
The companies say the beers "are dedicated to beer drinkers and enthusiasts worldwide" who continue to support the small brewers "who risk life and limb to shape the vibrant craft-brewing community."
Thankfully, Luke and Tony risk life and limb to rescue them.
He's indicated a willingness to risk life and limb for us."
The next time you moan about your job, spare a thought for the men featured in this intriguing documentary series, who risk life and limb every time they set foot in their trucks and begin their arduous journeys across the frozen lakes in Canada's Northwest Territories.
Set in a world where "Storm Riders", where motor-powered inline skates called "Air Trecks" allow the most hardcore competitors to ride the skies and risk life and limb in a competition for fame and power.
nature journey in which volunteer mushers and their dogs risk life and limb to relay the precious cargo over 600 miles to Nome.
DONNY OF PHARMACY SKATESHOP is of that raze breed of frontiersman who would not only start a business in the harsh retail landscape of the American desert, but then gamble it all by inviting, en masse, the entire free world of skateboarding to his private home to risk life and limb on a homemade hubba ledge.
It is make-or-break next month for Europe's biggest outdoor festival after organisers called a halt to the traditional massive influx of music fans who risk life and limb to get in free.
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