risk life and limb, to

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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