risk life and limb

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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 periodicals archive ?
I think we all can live and dream And wonder what we'd do If we were given one more go What path would we pursue But out of human weakness Would we just fall into trouble Risking life and limb and all that's good In our quest to burst the bubble.
Risking Life and Limb, published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team's founding in 1965, was shortlisted at The Great Outdoors Awards.
The colony of kittiwakes on the Baltic will soon be seen without risking life and limb The colony of kittiwakes on the Baltic will soon be seen without risking life and limb VISITORS will be able to settle down on sofas and watch as the Tyne's kittiwakes rear their families this year.
Charley Boorman's South African Adventure (Five, Wednesday, 8pm) | CHARLEY Boorman is risking life and limb with this new adventure.
I am told that in other authorities, gritting takes place through the night to ensure that their council taxpayers can get to/from work without risking life and limb, but the roads in RCT are always treacherous after a frosty night.
Just pounds 15,000 for risking life and limb, patrolling the streets of Basra and Afghanistan, has to be worth more than patrolling the streets of Britain's towns and cities.
Rescuers risking life and limb in rural Northumberland have launched three books designed to cut the toll of tragedies.
ANDRE AGASSI may be risking life and limb in his grand farewell to tennis at the US Open.
What's remarkable about Wells and his metamorphosing company is the sheer pleasure he communicates in risking life and limb, and the manner in which he makes audiences complicit in the process.
They also go one step further by risking life and limb to save others.
As I walked through Pearson Airport the most noticeable impact of the chaos was the complete lack of junk food at newsstands, which seemed a relatively small price to pay for risking life and limb.
COVENTRY care workers are risking life and limb to improve the lives of the people they look after.
I find this disrespectful to the men and women of our forces who are risking life and limb in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also to the families of those who will not be seeing their sons/daughters, fathers and mothers again.
The old man on the pavement watched as the traffic thundered by and saw a young man risking life and limb trying to get across the road.
This was a nifty way of passing over the fact HE wasn't the sap risking life and limb by infiltrating the gang of credit card skimmers.