-íssimo

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Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin -issimus. The borrowing occurred during the Renaissance by influence of Italian[1].

Suffix[edit]

-íssimo m (feminine -íssima, plural -íssimos, feminine plural -íssimas)

  1. forms the absolute superlative
    caro (expensive) + -íssimocaríssimo (extremely expensive)
    feio (ugly) + -íssimofeiíssimo (extremely ugly)

Usage notes[edit]

  • Though both are called superlatives, Portuguese words suffixed with -íssimo are not equivalent to English words suffixed with -est or preceded by most. Instead, they are equivalent to using the adverbs very or extremely to qualify the adjective.
  • Adjectives ending in -ável or -ível are suffixed with -abilíssimo or -ibilíssimo instead, replacing the suffix:
    aceitável (acceptable) + -íssimoaceitabilíssimo
  • Adjectives ending in m change it to n:
    comum (common) + -íssimocomuníssimo
  • Adjectives ending in -ão change it to -an:
    são (sane) + -íssimosaníssimo
  • Adjectives ending in z change it to c:
    feliz (happy) + -íssimofelicíssimo.
  • Adjectives ending in the semivowel followed by a vowel lose the semivowel, in nonstandard usage:
    feio (ugly) + -íssimo → feíssimo (nonstandard)
    feio (ugly) + -íssimofeiíssimo (standard)
  • Some words may loan the superlative from Latin in addition to forming one with this suffix:
    paupérrimo (loaned from pauperrimus) and pobríssimo, superlatives of pobre
  • Colloquially, the syllable <ssi> may be repeated a number of times for emphasis:
    grande (big) + -issíssimograndissíssimo (very very big)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2009, Evanildo Bechara, Moderna Gramática Portuguesa, 37th edition, Editora Nova Fronteira, Editora Lucerna, page 154.