- of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average: extreme measures.
- utmost or exceedingly great in degree: extreme joy.
- farthest from the center or middle; outermost; endmost: the extreme limits of a town.
- farthest, utmost, or very far in any direction: an object at the extreme point of vision.
- exceeding the bounds of moderation: extreme fashions.
- going to the utmost or very great lengths in action, habit, opinion, etc.: an extreme conservative.
- last or final: extreme hopes.
- Chiefly Sports. very dangerous or difficult: extreme skiing.
- the utmost or highest degree, or a very high degree: cautious to an extreme.
- one of two things as remote or different from each other as possible: the extremes of joy and grief.
- the furthest or utmost length; an excessive length, beyond the ordinary or average: extremes in dress.
- an extreme act, measure, condition, etc.: the extreme of poverty.
- the first or the last term, as of a proportion or series.
- a relative maximum or relative minimum value of a function in a given region.
- Logic. the subject or the predicate of the conclusion of a syllogism; either of two terms that are separated in the premises and brought together in the conclusion.
- Archaic. the utmost point, or extremity, of something.
Origin of extreme
SynonymsSee more synonyms for extreme on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for extreme
Investigators will focus on whether the sudden emergency was so extreme that no degree of pilot skill would have helped.Flight 8501 Poses Question: Are Modern Jets Too Automated to Fly?
January 4, 2015
He was part of an extreme, racialized white faction in the Louisiana state house that was clearly dead-set against honoring King.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game
January 2, 2015
In the most extreme cases, it allows for the extrajudicial killing of black people without consequence.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
No one likes it when their sandcastle is knocked over, but his reaction is a bit, err, extreme.Was Baby Jesus A Holy Terror?
December 21, 2014
The grief in this house is extreme of course; this is a horror movie, after all.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
The consciousness of recent misconduct filled her with extreme dread.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
"Hum," remarked Uncle Peter, in a tone to be noticed for its extreme dryness.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
She was blind and paralyzed, and on the extreme verge of eternity.
He was bothered, in a way, by the extreme mental caution of this fellow.Way of the Lawless
The issue was, however, disappointing to him in the extreme.Within the Law
- being of a high or of the highest degree or intensityextreme cold; extreme difficulty
- exceeding what is usual or reasonable; immoderateextreme behaviour
- very strict, rigid, or severe; drastican extreme measure
- (prenominal) farthest or outermost in directionthe extreme boundary
- meteorol of, relating to, or characteristic of a continental climate
- the highest or furthest degree (often in the phrases in the extreme, go to extremes)
- (often plural) either of the two limits or ends of a scale or range of possibilitiesextremes of temperature
- the first or last term of a series or a proportion
- a maximum or minimum value of a function
- logic the subject or predicate of the conclusion of a syllogism
Word Origin and History for extreme
early 15c., from Old French extreme (13c.), from Latin extremus "outermost, utmost, farthest, last," superlative of exterus (see exterior).
In English as in Latin, not always felt as a superlative, hence more extreme, most extreme (which were condemned by Johnson). The noun is first recorded 1540s, originally of the end of life, cf. Latin in extremis. Extreme unction preserves the sense of "last, latest" (15c.). Extremes "opposite ends of anything" is from 1550s.
- Either the first or fourth term of a proportion of four terms. In the proportion 23 = 46, the extremes are 2 and 6. Compare mean.
- A maximum or minimum value of a function.