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Use the word "extreme" for a situation involving very strong qualities that are very intense and very different from what is normal or average.

  • Extreme weather comes in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards (heavy snow with wind).
  • Extreme heat can cause crops to fail.
  • Extreme behavior includes yelling, punching, kicking, or screaming at another person.
  • A person whose political beliefs are far outside the norm might be labeled as extreme, or that person might be called an extremist. (The word "extremist" is a noun.)
  • Mountain climbing, parachuting, and surfing are extreme sports. (They’re dangerous sports.)

man in parachute Skydiving (parachuting) is an extreme sport.

The phrase "go to extremes" means that a person or an organization does something that is radical or very out of the ordinary. Here are some examples:

  • Joe goes to extremes to stay in shape. He works out at a gym three hours a day.
  • The company went to extremes to keep itself in business.
  • Maria goes to such extremes to keep from gaining weight, it’s a little unhealthy.
  • The government is going to extremes to prevent certain people from entering the United States.

The word "extremely" is an adverb. It’s similar to the word "very."

  • The Freedom Tower in New York City is extremely tall.
  • A scorpion is an extremely dangerous insect.
  • Our soccer team is extremely good this year.
  • I love extremely hot Thai food!
  • You’re an extremely good student.

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Date of publication: March 5, 2017