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extreme

adjective ex·treme \ ik-ˈstrēm \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of extreme

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 archaic :last
3 :situated at the farthest possible point from a center
  • the country's extreme north
4 a :most advanced or thoroughgoing
  • the extreme political left
b :maximum
5 a :of, relating to, or being an outdoor activity or a form of a sport (such 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

extremeness

noun

Examples of extreme in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of extreme from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extreme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of extreme

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

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

2

extreme

noun

Definition of extreme

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 a :a very pronounced or excessive degree
b :highest degree :maximum
3 :an extreme measure or expedient
  • going to extremes
in the extreme
:to the greatest possible extent

Examples of extreme in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of extreme from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extreme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of extreme

1555



EXTREME Defined for English Language Learners

extreme

adjective

Definition of extreme for English Language Learners

  • : very great in degree

  • : very serious or severe

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


extreme

noun

Definition of extreme for English Language Learners

  • : 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


EXTREME Defined for Kids

1

extreme

adjective ex·treme \ ik-ˈstrēm \

Definition of extreme for Students

1 :very great in degree or severity
  • extreme heat
  • extreme poverty
2 :farthest away
  • the extreme edge
3 :more demanding or dangerous than normal
  • extreme sports

extremely

adverb

2

extreme

noun

Definition of extreme for Students

1 :something as far as possible from a center or from its opposite
  • extremes of heat and cold
2 :the greatest possible degree :maximum
  • He pushed the athletes to the extreme.


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