adj. & n.
adj. 1 reaching a high or the highest degree; exceedingly great or intense (extreme old age; in extreme danger). 2 a severe, stringent; lacking restraint or moderation (take extreme measures; an extreme reaction). b (of a person, opinion, etc.) going to great lengths; advocating immoderate measures. 3 outermost; furthest from the centre; situated at either end (the extreme edge). 4 Polit. on the far left or right of a party. 5 utmost; last.
n. 1 (often in pl.) one or other of two things as remote or as different as possible. 2 a thing at either end of anything. 3 the highest degree of anything. 4 Math. the first or the last term of a ratio or series. 5 Logic the subject or predicate in a proposition; the major or the minor term in a syllogism. extreme unction the last rites in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. go to extremes take an extreme course of action. go to the other extreme take a diametrically opposite course of action. in the extreme to an extreme degree. extremely adv. extremeness n.
[ ME f. OF f. L extremus superl. of exterus outward ]