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1

superlative

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adjective su·per·la·tive \su̇-ˈpər-lə-tiv\

Simple Definition of superlative

  • grammar : of or relating to the form of an adjective or adverb that is used to indicate the greatest degree of a particular quality

  • : of very high quality

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of superlative

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or constituting the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent

  2. 2a :  surpassing all others :  supremeb :  of very high quality :  excellent <superlative work>

  3. 3 :  excessive, exaggerated

superlatively

adverb

superlativeness

noun

Examples of superlative in a sentence

  1. The superlative form of nice is nicest; the superlative form of bad is worst; the superlative form of interesting is most interesting.

  2. <the New England town meeting is a superlative example of grassroots democracy>



Did You Know?

Superlative may sound high-flown when compared with a synonym like outstanding, but if your next paper comes back from your teacher with the comment "Superlative work!" at the top you probably won't complain. Since superlative means "best, greatest", it makes sense that superlative is also a term used in grammar for the highest degree of comparison. So for the adjective simple, for example, the comparative form is simpler and the superlative form is simplest; and for the adverb boldly, the comparative form is more boldly and the superlative is most boldly.

Origin and Etymology of superlative

Middle English superlatif, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin superlativus, from Latin superlatus (past participle of superferre to carry over, raise high), from super- + latus, past participle of ferre to carry — more at tolerate, bear


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

superlative

noun su·per·la·tive

Simple Definition of superlative

  • grammar : the form of an adjective or adverb that is used to indicate the greatest degree of a particular quality : the superlative form of an adjective or adverb

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of superlative

  1. 1a :  the superlative degree of comparison in a languageb :  a superlative form of an adjective or adverb

  2. 2 :  the superlative or utmost degree of something :  acme

  3. 3 :  a superlative person or thing

  4. 4 :  an admiring sometimes exaggerated expression especially of praise

Examples of superlative in a sentence

  1. Simplest is the superlative of simple.



15th Century

First Known Use of superlative

15th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


SUPERLATIVE Defined for Kids

1

superlative

play
adjective su·per·la·tive \su̇-ˈpər-lə-tiv\

Definition of superlative for Students

  1. 1 :  being the form of an adjective or adverb that shows the greatest degree of comparison <“Best” is the superlative form of “good.”>

  2. 2 :  better than all others :  supreme <superlative work>




2

superlative

play
noun su·per·la·tive

Definition of superlative for Students

  1. :  the superlative degree or a superlative form in a language





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