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adjective ex·treme \ik-ˈstrēm\

Simple Definition of extreme

  • : very great in degree

  • : very serious or severe

  • : very far from agreeing with the opinions of most people : not moderate

Full Definition of extreme

  1. 1 a :  existing in a very high degree <extreme poverty> b :  going to great or exaggerated lengths :  radical <went on an extreme diet> c :  exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected <extreme weather conditions>

  2. 2 archaic :  last

  3. 3 :  situated at the farthest possible point from a center <the country's extreme north>

  4. 4 a :  most advanced or thoroughgoing <the extreme political left> b :  maximum

  5. 5 a :  of, relating to, or being an outdoor activity or a form of a sport (as skiing) that involves an unusually high degree of physical risk <extreme mountain biking down steep slopes> b :  involved in an extreme sport <an extreme snowboarder>

ex·treme·ness noun

Examples of extreme

  1. The plant is sensitive to extreme heat and cold.

  2. They are living in extreme poverty.

  3. She went on an extreme diet.

  4. Many thought that the punishment was too extreme for the crime.

  5. The plan was rejected as too extreme.

  6. This is an extreme example of what can happen when a company grows too quickly.

  7. He has extreme opinions when it comes to politics.

  8. Members of the extreme right opposed the legislation.

Origin of extreme

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin extremus, superl. of exter, exterus being on the outside — more at exterior

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of extreme

excessive, immoderate, inordinate, extravagant, exorbitant, extreme mean going beyond a normal limit. excessive implies an amount or degree too great to be reasonable or acceptable <excessive punishment>. immoderate implies lack of desirable or necessary restraint <immoderate spending>. inordinate implies an exceeding of the limits dictated by reason or good judgment <inordinate pride>. extravagant implies an indifference to restraints imposed by truth, prudence, or good taste <extravagant claims for the product>. exorbitant implies a departure from accepted standards regarding amount or degree <exorbitant prices>. extreme may imply an approach to the farthest limit possible or conceivable but commonly means only to a notably high degree <extreme shyness>.



noun ex·treme

Simple Definition of extreme

  • : either one of two opposite conditions, feelings, positions, etc., that are thought of as being far from what is normal or reasonable

  • : an amount or degree that is far beyond what is normal or reasonable

Full Definition of extreme

  1. 1 a :  something situated at or marking one end or the other of a range <extremes of heat and cold> b :  the first term or the last term of a mathematical proportion c :  the major term or minor term of a syllogism

  2. 2 a :  a very pronounced or excessive degree b :  highest degree :  maximum

  3. 3 :  an extreme measure or expedient <going to extremes>

in the extreme
  1. :  to the greatest possible extent

Examples of extreme

  1. After spending lavishly for years, the company has now gone to the opposite extreme and has cut expenses drastically.

  2. His mood changed from one extreme to the other.


First Known Use of extreme


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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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