General English


  • adjective referring to breeds of cattle which are traditionally kept for dairy or for meat, and not for a combination of the two


  • adjective most distant in any direction, the outermost or farthest
  • adjective to the greatest or highest degree, very great
  • noun either of the two things, values, situations, etc., situated at opposite ends of a range


  • The highest or lowest value, or that furthest from a center or reference value. Used, for instance, to describe the highest or lowest indications of a measuring instrument.

Origin & History of “extreme”

Etymologically, extreme is the latinate equivalent of the native English utmost. It comes via Old French extreme from Latin extrēmus ‘farthest, last, excessive’, which began life as a superlative form based on Latin ex ‘out’ – hence originally ‘most out, utmost’. The underlying notion of ‘furthest outlying’ still survives in, e.g., the use of extremities for the ‘hands’ or ‘feet’.