[ik-stree-miz-uh m]


a tendency or disposition to go to extremes or an instance of going to extremes, especially in political matters: leftist extremism; the extremism of the Nazis.

Origin of extremism

First recorded in 1860–65; extreme + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for extremism

Contemporary Examples of extremism

Historical Examples of extremism

  • Some of them thought he had a few good ideas, but was damaging his own case by extremism.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • With all this extremism, we want a man of principle and common sense.

  • Because of this extremism, his voice was doomed to remain that of one crying in the wilderness.

  • The modern tendency in painting cannot be dismissed as charlatanism or extremism.

  • Only the leaders of the New Balkans are much younger, less experienced, more prone to superstition, extremism and moodiness.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

Word Origin and History for extremism

1848, from extreme + -ism.

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1963]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper