English

Definition of extreme noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    extreme

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈstriːm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈstriːm//
     
     
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  1. 1a feeling, situation, way of behaving, etc. that is as different as possible from another or is opposite to it extremes of love and hate He used to be very shy, but now he's gone to the opposite extreme (= changed from one extreme kind of behaviour to another).
  2. 2the greatest or highest degree of something extremes of cold, wind or rain the climatic extremes of the mountains
  3. Word Origin late Middle English: via Old French from Latin extremus ‘outermost, utmost’, superlative of exterus ‘outer’.Extra examples After always putting too much salt in her cooking, she went to the opposite extreme and banished it completely. At the extreme, some nuclear waste is so radioactive it has to be kept isolated for thousands of years. At the other extreme, women still childless at 32 were more likely to be from a professional background. Avoid any extremes of emotional behaviour. He went to the extreme of adulation, describing Churchill as the greatest man who ever lived. His voice was scornful in the extreme. It’s a difficult place to live because of its climatic extremes. It’s foolish to take any dieting to extremes. She goes from one extreme to the other, and either works very hard or does absolutely nothing. She has taken cleanliness to a new extreme. She was always generous to the extreme. Their views are at opposite extremes from each other. There has to be a solution between these extremes. There is no need to go to such extremes. These photographs show extremes of obesity and emaciation.Idioms
    go, etc. to extremes, take something to extremes
     
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    to act or be forced to act in a way that is far from normal or reasonable It's embarrassing the extremes he'll go to in order to impress his boss. Taken to extremes, this kind of behaviour can be dangerous. In the jungle they were driven to extremes in order to survive.
    (formal) to a great degree The journey would be dangerous in the extreme.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: extreme