[ ik-stree-miz-uh m ]
/ ɪkˈstri mɪz əm /


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.

Nearby words

  1. extreme unction,
  2. extremely,
  3. extremely high frequency,
  4. extremely low frequency,
  5. extremis,
  6. extremist,
  7. extremitas,
  8. extremities,
  9. extremity,
  10. extremophile

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

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