Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

superlative

[suh-pur-luh-tiv, soo-] /səˈpɜr lə tɪv, sʊ-/
adjective
1.
of the highest kind, quality, or order; surpassing all else or others; supreme; extreme:
superlative wisdom.
2.
Grammar. of, relating to, or noting the highest degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, as smallest, best, and most carefully, the superlative forms of small, good, and carefully.
Compare comparative (def 4), positive (def 21).
3.
being more than is proper or normal; exaggerated in language or style.
noun
4.
a superlative person or thing.
5.
the utmost degree; acme.
6.
Grammar.
  1. the superlative degree.
  2. a form in the superlative.
Origin of superlative
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin superlātīvus, equivalent to Latin superlāt(us) hyperbolical (super- super- + -lātus, suppletive past participle of ferre to bear1) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English superlatif < Old French < Late Latin, as above
Related forms
superlatively, adverb
superlativeness, noun
unsuperlative, adjective
unsuperlatively, adverb
unsuperlativeness, noun
Synonyms
1. surpassing, excellent, magnificent, preeminent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for superlatively
Historical Examples
  • If anything with us is good, it is superlatively good for being brief.

  • The alderman's eulogium on Mr. Punch was superlatively good.

    The English Spy Bernard Blackmantle
  • How superlatively happy she would be to accompany Mrs. Swiggs.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • You don't, I mean, as a rule, get it all so superlatively together.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • His name was Auku-wonze-zee, that is to say, “he who is superlatively old.”

  • The palette of the embroiderer in silk is superlatively rich.

    Art in Needlework Lewis F. Day
  • It was a consolation to see how handsome and superlatively smart he looked!

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
  • And a lady that is died for, must of course be superlatively charming.

    Pencil Sketches Eliza Leslie
  • Anyway, the wild raven has been superlatively shy of man ever since the flood.

    Our Southern Highlanders Horace Kephart
  • Said the superlatively wicked Woman, You know I have order'd her not to answer you.

    Pamela Censured Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for superlatively

superlative

/suːˈpɜːlətɪv/
adjective
1.
of outstanding quality, degree, etc; supreme
2.
(grammar) denoting the form of an adjective or adverb that expresses the highest or a very high degree of quality. In English the superlative degree is usually marked by the suffix -est or the word most, as in loudest or most loudly Compare positive (sense 10), comparative (sense 3)
3.
(of language or style) excessive; exaggerated
noun
4.
a thing that excels all others or is of the highest quality
5.
(grammar) the superlative form of an adjective
6.
the highest degree; peak
Derived Forms
superlatively, adverb
superlativeness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French superlatif, via Late Latin from Latin superlātus extravagant, from superferre to carry beyond, from super- + ferre to bear
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for superlatively

superlative

adj.

late 14c., from Old French superlatif (13c.), from Late Latin superlativus "exaggerated, superlative," from Latin superlatus "exaggerated" (used as past participle of superferre "carry over or beyond"), from super "beyond" (see super-) + lat- "carry," from *tlat-, past participle stem of tollere "to take away" (see extol). The noun is attested from 1520s, originally in the grammatical sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
superlatively in Culture

superlative definition


The form of an adjective indicating the greatest degree of the quality that the adjective describes. Best is the superlative form of good; fastest is the superlative form of fast; most charming is the superlative form of charming. The usual superlative takes the ending -est. (Compare comparative.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for superlatively

Word Value for superlatively

21
25
Scrabble Words With Friends