extreme

adjective
ex·​treme | \ ik-ˈstrēm How to pronounce extreme (audio) \

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for extreme

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Pandemics, extreme weather due to climate change, and economic or infrastructure instabilities are also risks to national security, experts say. USA Today, "Exclusive: US counterterrorism operations touched 85 countries in the last 3 years alone," 25 Feb. 2021 Natural gas production in Texas fell by almost 45% during the recent extreme cold weather, the Energy Information Administration reported today. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy, sponsored by EFP: Unanswered questions from Haaland’s comments on Biden oil and gas leasing pause," 25 Feb. 2021 But with climate change projected to bring more extreme weather, problems like those seen last week could return. Star Tribune, "Southern exposure: Cold wreaks havoc on aging waterworks," 25 Feb. 2021 The deaths are still being counted, but last week's extreme winter weather in Texas left yet another group of victims in its wake: exotic animals. Washington Post, "The Texas freeze’s silent victims: wildebeest, gemsbok antelope and other ‘exotic’ animals," 25 Feb. 2021 Even with shorter outages, the batteries themselves would also need their own special protections in cases of extreme weather—as anyone who’s taken their iPhone out on a cold winter day can attest. Gregory Barber, Wired, "When the Grid Goes Down, Can a Fleet of Batteries Replace It?," 24 Feb. 2021 Meanwhile, difficulty in securing vaccination appointments continues in Illinois, worsened by last week’s delay in federal vaccine shipments caused by the extreme cold and winter weather. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 as Chicago lakefront finally reopens," 23 Feb. 2021 Gas plants depend on just-in-time fuel deliveries, which aren’t reliable in extreme weather. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "More Green Blackouts Ahead," 23 Feb. 2021 Crews will be making repairs to the roadway due to last week’s extreme weather, according to the Town of Westlake. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "Southlake drivers should expect major delays on this highway through Wednesday," 23 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Free jazz, which took root in the 1960s, pushed improvisation to the extreme. USA Today, "25 essential jazz songs that trace the quintessential American artform through history," 22 Feb. 2021 Magnetars take this already absurd process to an extreme. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Mystery Radio Burst Source Finally Revealed: It's Coming From Inside the Milky Way," 6 Nov. 2020 As my colleague Anne Sraders reported yesterday, this trend has now gone to an extreme. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Stocks, futures slip as even a surge of ‘beats’ fail to lift the COVID gloom," 27 Oct. 2020 Peter Krouse recalls times when tensions ran high, suffering was at an extreme, and answers were difficult to come by. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Clevelanders working from home save 4.1 hours a week in commute: The Wake Up for Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020," 22 Sep. 2020 For the modern intellectual, once the world has shed the appearance of objective meaning, this tension is heightened to an extreme. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Max Weber’s Agon," 11 June 2020 At the other extreme, some militant believers may migrate to radical anti-government groups and plot potentially violent crimes. David Klepper, Star Tribune, "Checked by reality, some QAnon supporters seek a way out," 28 Jan. 2021 The other extreme is the sort of John Williams wall-to-wall music. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, "Brian Eno has had a pretty good quarantine," 21 Jan. 2021 At the other extreme are more expensive cities like Boston and San Francisco, where the check would cover only half of per capita housing costs. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, "Here’s how far a $600 stimulus check goes in 22 American cities," 21 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for extreme

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for extreme

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extreme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extreme. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce extreme (audio) \

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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