From Middle English superlatyf, from Old French superlatif, from Late Latin superlātīvus, from Latin superlātus (“extravagant, of hyperbole”), past participle of superfero (“carry over”), from super (“above”) + fero (“bear, carry”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /suːˈpɜː.lə.tɪv/, /sjuːˈpɜː.lə.tɪv/
- (US) IPA(key): /suˈpɝː.lə.tɪv/
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superlative (plural superlatives)
- The extreme (e.g. highest, lowest, deepest, farthest, deepest, etc) extent or degree of something.
- 1966, Sidney John Baker, The Australian language:
- A twist is accordingly something especially good, and a big twist is the superlative of excellence.
- (grammar) The form of an adjective that expresses which of several items has the highest degree of the quality expressed by the adjective; in English, formed by appending "-est" to the end of the adjective (for some short adjectives only) or putting "most" before it.
- The superlative of "big" is "biggest".
- (informal) An adjective used to praise something exceptional.
- Daniel is amazing, wonderful, fantastic, and many other superlatives I can’t think of right now!
- 2019, Daniel Taylor, Lionel Messi magic puts Barcelona in command of semi-final with Liverpool (in The Guardian, 1 May 2019)
- Sometimes it feels like there are no more superlatives left. Seriously, what else can be said about this little guy with the No 10 shirt and magic in his feet other than to ask, perhaps, whether there is anyone who wants to persist with the argument that Pelé, or Diego Maradona, or any of the others, have ever played this sport any better?
superlative (not comparable)