- adjective very unusual or serious
- adjective considered unreasonable by some people
- noun something very unusual or very great
- 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’.