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



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

Other Words from extreme


extremeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for extreme

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective By any standards, entrepreneurs were operating in extreme conditions. Trevor Clawson, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Atchley says extreme weather conditions are changing the trajectory of many fires. Morgan Lee, BostonGlobe.com, 14 May 2022 The state Transportation Department announced the closing of Highway 12 this week and shared photos of sand and water covering roads in the extreme weather conditions. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 11 May 2022 Bermuda grass is a popular lawn grass because of its durability against extreme heat and drought conditions. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2022 In extreme conditions, like the ones in New Mexico, even the helicopters that typically can get up in the air — at least during the early morning hours before winds start to pick up in the afternoon — are grounded. Cedar Attanasio And Scott Sonner, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 In extreme conditions, like the ones in New Mexico, even the helicopters that can typically get up in the air — at least during the early morning hours before winds start to pick up in the afternoon — are grounded. Cedar Attanasio And Kathleen Ronayne, Anchorage Daily News, 9 May 2022 India warned of heatwaves in six states next week, as extreme weather conditions threaten lives and livelihoods across the subcontinent. Fortune, 7 May 2022 More than two-thirds of New Mexico is now facing extreme drought conditions, while the exceptional drought area has more than doubled in size over the past week, encompassing more than 15% of the state. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 30 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Known for his dark humor, Vershynin commended his officers for protecting and serving to the extreme — fighting side-by-side with the Ukrainian military. David L. Stern, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 There are not a lot of actors that can do that, especially to the extreme. Devan Coggan, EW.com, 12 May 2022 Offer some deeper wisdom about the mysteries of childhood, of a parent’s nightmare scenario taken to the extreme? Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2022 The 2016 presidential election highlighted this issue to the extreme. Jill Griffin, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Late last year Bugatti launched its own bespoke division, Sur Mesure, giving customers the opportunity to take customizing their 200-plus-mph missiles to the extreme. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 21 Apr. 2022 The Guardians usually don’t take things to the extreme. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 26 Mar. 2022 Bridgerton is back, and one thing is clear: The sophomore season, arriving March 25 on Netflix, will be more of everything—bedazzled, bejeweled, and embellished to the extreme. Carol Woolton, Town & Country, 23 Mar. 2022 Echo chambers caused by algorithmic amplification and filter bubbles enhance the effect and push people's thinking to the extreme. Tom Siegel, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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


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


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for extreme


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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near extreme



extreme and mean ratio

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extreme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extreme. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for extreme


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



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on extreme

Nglish: Translation of extreme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extreme for Arabic Speakers


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