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Via Proto-Italic *-isemos, from Proto-Indo-European *-is- (zero-grade of *-yōs(intensive/comparative suffix)) + *-(t)m̥mo-(absolutive suffix). The latter is seen whole in -timus (e.g. intimusextimus, citimusultimus, dissimulated pessimusoptimus). The original form seems, however, to be *-m̥mo- (cf. supersummus, Gothic 𐌹𐌽𐌽𐌿𐌼𐌰(innuma, innermost)), with acquired t from the paradigm -ter--timus- (e.g. exterextimus), and is cognate with Proto-Germanic *-umô (source, via metanalysis, of English -most). By various sound changes (e.g. *-isemos > *-ismos > -īmus) superlative grades in -īmus, -ēmus etc. (e.g. extrēmus, suprēmus) are also found.

The expected alteration of *-(o)ism̥mos to *-erimus is nowhere to be found. The -ss- may be an example of expressive lengthening of the *-s- or influence from specific forms as pessimus and endings in -errimus and -illimus.



-issimus m ‎(feminine -issima, neuter -issimum); first/second declension

  1. added to an adjective noun to form its superlative grade

Usage notes[edit]


First/second declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative -issimus -issima -issimum -issimī -issimae -issima
genitive -issimī -issimae -issimī -issimōrum -issimārum -issimōrum
dative -issimō -issimō -issimīs
accusative -issimum -issimam -issimum -issimōs -issimās -issima
ablative -issimō -issimā -issimō -issimīs
vocative -issime -issima -issimum -issimī -issimae -issima

Coordinate terms[edit]



  • Andrew L. Sihler (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press