extreme

adjective
ex·treme | \ik-ˈstrēm \

Definition of extreme 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

4a : most advanced or thoroughgoing the extreme political left

b : maximum

5a : 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

extreme

noun

Definition of extreme (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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

2a : 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

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Other Words from extreme

Adjective

extremeness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for extreme

Adjective

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

Examples of extreme in a Sentence

Adjective

The plant is sensitive to extreme heat and cold. They are living in extreme poverty. She went on an extreme diet. Many thought that the punishment was too extreme for the crime. The plan was rejected as too extreme. This is an extreme example of what can happen when a company grows too quickly. He has extreme opinions when it comes to politics. Members of the extreme right opposed the legislation.

Noun

After spending lavishly for years, the company has now gone to the opposite extreme and has cut expenses drastically. His mood changed from one extreme to the other.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Beckham's time with the Orioles since his July 31 trade from the Tampa Bay Rays last season has been defined by his extreme streakiness. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles notes: Streaky Beckham seeking 'a little more consistency'; Yacabonis on track for Sunday start," 13 July 2018 In the near future, the world is suffering from an extreme infertility crisis and facing population depletion, and a group of extremists calling themselves the Sons of Jacob uses this to seize power and institute a strictly stratified regime. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018 Ditching the contract midway through is an extreme step, one that Black Hills has acknowledged in SEC filings as a threat to its business. Justin Worland/pueblo, Time, "How One Industrial City Is Fighting to Go Green," 12 July 2018 The action here represents the mainstream cinema's version of extreme sports and these guys have staked their claim at the summit. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': Film Review," 12 July 2018 Sometimes the game can have extreme twists that involve crazy things like snakes or spiders, but this one was only a pineapple, a whoopee cushion and a small lion figurine. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Detroit Lions hilariously react to random items while playing 'What's in the box?'," 12 July 2018 Challenges include emissions from agriculture and trucks that drive through the Valley, pollution from wildfires and cases of extreme heat that can trap pollution for days. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "Air pollution increases risk for type 2 diabetes, study finds," 12 July 2018 Life came at John Schnatter with extreme quickness this week. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Cam, AB and Opponents Who Team Up for Summer Workouts," 13 July 2018 The extreme version of the low-carb, high-fat diet is a ketogenic diet. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "Good fats, bad fats, and why the ketogenic diet matters," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even in years given to extremes, the spread wasn’t this bad. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB power rankings: Red-hot Red Sox, awful Orioles headed for historic runaway," 9 July 2018 Americans ultimately reject extremes, often tempering the power of an executive with one ideology by installing a legislature with another, tuning out or voting out voices that lead to the edges. Alberto Ibargüen, star-telegram, "Support local news –it’s crucial to our lives and our democracy," 5 July 2018 More common than both these extremes, though, are the bosses who waver between them: sometimes supportive, sometimes not; sometimes helpful and sometimes frustrating; etc. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "Why It’s Better to Hate Your Boss Than to Feel Ambivalent Toward Them," 2 July 2018 Whenever a player, especially a young one, struggles to this extreme, be assured his confidence level is near zero. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers have few options as they wait for Orlando Arcia to get going at plate," 15 June 2018 While her faith in the forecast may have been shaking by the recent extremes, the latest climate predictions indicate that Reddick is in for plenty of nice days as Central Indiana officially heads into summer. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "May was Indy's warmest on record; here's what to expect in June," 3 June 2018 Women in China have long associated being beautiful with being skinny, but a desire to be thin is often taken to the extreme, with detrimental effect on health and self-esteem -- a situation not unique to China. Nanlin Fang, CNN, "Chinese women's newest accessory: six-pack abs," 29 May 2018 If the amount of heat-trapping gas emissions is reduced, Swain said, the likelihood of devastating weather extremes, and a flood like in 1862, drops significantly. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "California’s deadly 1862 flood likely to repeat within 50 years, study says," 23 Apr. 2018 Taken to their logical extreme, Trump’s tweets call for the wholesale unwinding of U.S. laws on asylum and immigration courts, a move that some experts say would violate both the U.S. Constitution and international agreements on human rights. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "President Trump’s misconceptions about immigration courts and law," 26 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of extreme

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for extreme

Adjective

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

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Statistics for extreme

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extreme

The first known use of extreme was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for extreme

extreme

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of extreme

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very great in degree

: very serious or severe

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

extreme

noun

English Language Learners Definition of extreme (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

adjective
ex·treme | \ik-ˈstrēm \

Kids Definition of extreme

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from extreme

extremely adverb

extreme

noun

Kids Definition of extreme (Entry 2 of 2)

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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Comments on extreme

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