I read an article on climate change which used the expression 'extreme high temperature'

Extreme high temperatures set to break records: ANU expert

I understand that 'extreme' can mean extremely low or extremely high. But since the article is using the word 'high', isn't the usage 'extreme high' redundant? So I figured that it must have been a typo, and that the author probably meant 'extremely high'. But just to be sure, I did a Google search and was surprised to find that this usage is quite common.

MWD defines 'extreme' as:

a : existing in a very high degree extreme poverty b : going to great or exaggerated lengths : radical went on an extreme diet c : exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected extreme weather conditions

2 archaic : last

3 : situated at the farthest possible point from a center the country's extreme north

4a : most advanced or thoroughgoing the extreme political leftb : maximum

5a : of, relating to, or being an outdoor activity or a form of a sport (such as skiing) that involves an unusually high degree of physical risk extreme mountain biking down steep slopesb : involved in an extreme sport an extreme snowboarder

Now, the 'extremely low' aspect is not given anywhere in this definition, but TFD does define it as

Either of the two things situated at opposite ends of a range: the extremes of boiling and freezing.

What I want to know is whether the usage 'extreme high' is correct, and if it is, how is it different from 'extremely high'.


  • 3
    In "Extremely high temperatures", the adverb extremely modifies the adjective high. In "Extreme high temperatures", both adjectives modify the noun. Neither usage is "incorrect". Both convey the same meaning, and since a temperature can be "high" without being "extreme", I don't see a case for redundancy. Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 5:51
  • @P.E.Dant - You are right. The words 'high' and 'extreme' are not redundant. I did overlook the the point you made. Thanks for the help.
    – MiaC
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 6:45

1 Answer 1


The context of your comment is likely a weather report.

Weather reports (in the US at least) use the term high temperature as a fixed phrase that is a shortcut for "highest expected temperature of the day."

If the high temperature for a day is itself abnormally or unusually high, extreme can be used to communicate that and it doesn't conflict with the fixed phrase "high temperature."

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