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

farthermost, farthest, furthermost, furthest, outermost, outmost, remotest, ultimate, utmost

Antonyms: Adjective

inmost, innermost, nearest

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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

Kelly’s story, though extreme, is a common example of modern American relationships. Melanie Hamlett, Harper's BAZAAR, "Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden," 2 May 2019 Though extreme, the selloff was in step with the going trend. James Piereson, WSJ, "How Debt Makes the Market Volatile," 27 Feb. 2019 Kavanaugh is extreme enough that Democrats can usefully deploy him as foil. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "If Democrats want to fight Brett Kavanaugh, they have a lot of ammunition.," 10 July 2018 But because the southern winter is far more extreme than the northern winter, the southern polar ice caps grow more than twice as far as their northern counterparts. Shannon Hall, New York Times, "Never Mind the Summer Heat: Earth Is at Its Greatest Distance From the Sun," 5 July 2018 Of the four, the N-Strike Elite Titan CS-50 is the most extreme. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Nothing Flings Foam Like a Full-On Nerf Gatling Blaster," 4 Feb. 2019 To the extreme The researchers took those extreme climate events and modeled their impact on barley yields in 23 world regions. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Barley shortages from climate change could mean less beer worldwide," 15 Oct. 2018 Coming on the heels of Hurricane Florence, which struck the Carolinas in September, Michael hits Florida at a time when extreme weather events are on the rise in the United States. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Hurricane Michael: Real estate experts anticipate billions in storm damage," 10 Oct. 2018 This lack of cooling, and string of sultry nights, ranks among the most extreme on record. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Washington’s temperature hasn’t dropped below 80 degrees in 80 hours," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the heart of his ethics is the doctrine of the mean, which argues that virtues and vices are not opposites and that the right way to act falls between two wrong extremes. Julian Baggini, WSJ, "‘Aristotle’s Way’ Review: Philosophize and Flourish," 15 Feb. 2019 The rest of the guesses were scattered between these two extremes, with the average estimate being 2099 — 81 years from now. James Vincent, The Verge, "This is when AI’s top researchers think artificial general intelligence will be achieved," 27 Nov. 2018 O’Connor often sought to split the difference between the contending extremes. Akhil Reed Amar, Time, "What Justice Kennedy's Legacy Could Mean for the Future of the Supreme Court," 29 June 2018 Between these extremes, though, Netflix has crafted some under-the-radar genre films that may not break the mold but are a satisfying stream on a Sunday night. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "What to Watch on Netflix: Wheelman," 28 Apr. 2018 When conditions fluctuate dramatically—if food is scarce one year and abundant the next, or if brood parasites sweep through an entire population or the weather oscillates between extremes—the benefits of cooperation vary, too. Jordana Cepelewicz, Scientific American, "The Elusive Calculus of Insect Altruism," 26 Apr. 2018 But between these extremes, the spring months offer an attractive combination of mild temperatures and lack of crowds. New York Times, "5 Springtime Italian Coast Getaways for Less," 23 Apr. 2018 Nestled in between those extremes is La-La Land, the Butlers' antique shop in Daphne. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "For owners of La-La Land antique store, the sale is in the story," 25 Feb. 2018 The movement draws many of its supporters from the extremes of French politics and from a growing segment of the French electorate that has become disenchanted with politics altogether. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "‘Spreading Like a Poison’: Anti-Semitic Acts Increase in France," 17 Feb. 2019

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

13 May 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on extreme

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with extreme

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for extreme

Spanish Central: Translation of extreme

Nglish: Translation of extreme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extreme for Arabic Speakers

Comments on extreme

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