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2017 Word of the Year

super

[soo-per] /ˈsu pər/
noun
1.
Informal.
  1. a superintendent, especially of an apartment house.
  2. supermarket.
  3. supernumerary.
  4. supervisor.
2.
an article of a superior quality, grade, size, etc.
3.
(in beekeeping) the portion of a hive in which honey is stored.
4.
Printing. supercalendered paper.
5.
Television. an additional image superimposed on the original video image:
A super of the guest's name is included under the picture when the guest is introduced.
adjective
6.
of the highest degree, power, etc.
7.
of an extreme or excessive degree.
8.
Informal. very good; first-rate; excellent.
9.
(of measurement) superficial.
10.
adverb
11.
Slang. very; extremely or excessively:
super classy; a super large portion of food.
Origin of super
1620-1630
1620-30; 1920-25 for def 8; independent use of super- (construed as an adj. or adv.), or shortening of words prefixed with it

super-

1.
a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, with the basic meaning “above, beyond.” Words formed with super-, have the following general senses: “to place or be placed above or over” (superimpose; supersede), “a thing placed over or added to another” (superscript; superstructure; supertax), “situated over” (superficial; superlunary) and, more figuratively, “an individual, thing, or property that exceeds customary norms or levels” (superalloy; superconductivity; superman; superstar), “an individual or thing larger, more powerful, or with wider application than others of its kind” (supercomputer; superhighway; superpower; supertanker), “exceeding the norms or limits of a given class” (superhuman; superplastic), “having the specified property to a great or excessive degree” (supercritical; superfine; supersensitive), “to subject to (a physical process) to an extreme degree or in an unusual way” (supercharge; supercool; supersaturate), “a category that embraces a number of lesser items of the specified kind” (superfamily; supergalaxy), “a chemical compound with a higher proportion than usual of a given constituent” (superphosphate).
Origin
< Latin super (preposition and v. prefix) above, beyond, in addition, to an especially high degree; akin to Greek hypér (see hyper-), Sanskrit upari; see over

super.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for super
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The nature they portray is not human, but super- or subter-human, which you will.

    Another Sheaf John Galsworthy
  • He was fighting desperately, his super mech's strength overtaxed.

    Second Sight Basil Eugene Wells
  • It was only then that he realized this must be a super mech.

    Second Sight Basil Eugene Wells
  • That night he had begged Janith to let him rent a super mech.

    Second Sight Basil Eugene Wells
  • He wanted to call to the super and ask if at least he could buy the lantern.

British Dictionary definitions for super

super

/ˈsuːpə/
adjective
1.
(informal) outstanding; exceptionally fine
noun
2.
petrol with a high octane rating
3.
(informal) a superintendent or supervisor
4.
(Austral & NZ, informal) superannuation benefits
5.
(Austral & NZ, informal) superphosphate
interjection
6.
(Brit, informal) an enthusiastic expression of approval or assent
Word Origin
from Latin: above

super-

prefix
1.
placed above or over: superscript
2.
of greater size, extent, quality, etc: supermarket
3.
surpassing others; outstanding: superstar
4.
beyond a standard or norm; exceeding or exceedingly: supersonic
5.
indicating that a chemical compound contains a specified element in a higher proportion than usual: superoxide
Word Origin
from Latin super above
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for super
adj.

"first-rate, excellent," 1837, from prefix in superfine (1682), denoting "highest grade of goods," from Latin super "above, over, beyond" (see super-). Extended usage as a general term of approval is 1895 slang, revived 1960s. Rhyming reduplication form super-duper first attested 1940.

super-

word-forming element from Latin adverb and preposition super "above, over, on the top (of), beyond, besides, in addition to," from PIE *uper "over" (cf. Sanskrit upari, Avestan upairi "over, above, beyond," Greek hyper, Old English ofer "over," Gothic ufaro "over, across," Gaulish ver-, Old Irish for), comparative of root *upo "under."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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super in Medicine

super- pref.

  1. Above; over; upon: superstructure.

  2. Superior in size, quality, number, or degree: supersonic.

  3. Exceeding a norm: supersaturate.

  4. Excessive in degree or intensity: superexcitation.

  5. Containing a specified ingredient in an unusually high proportion: superoxide.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for super

super 1

noun

A superintendent, esp one who is custodian of an apartment building (1857+)

super 2

adjective

Wonderful; excellent; very superior: America's Teenage Girls Speak Language of Their Own That Is Too Divinely Super

[1895+; perhaps fr superior or superfine; revitalized in the 1960s]

super

-prefix

used to form adjectives Having the indicated quality to an extraordinary degree: superhappy/ superwonky

prefix

used to form nouns A superbly qualified and prodigious specimen of what is indicated: superjerk/ superjock/ superchick/ Supermom

[1930s+; noun prefix stimulated from 1938 by the comic-book character Superman]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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7
9
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