- of the highest kind, quality, or order; surpassing all else or others; supreme; extreme: superlative wisdom.
- 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).
- being more than is proper or normal; exaggerated in language or style.
- a superlative person or thing.
- the utmost degree; acme.
- the superlative degree.
- a form in the superlative.
Origin of superlative
SynonymsSee more synonyms for superlative on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for superlatively
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
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.”Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet
- of outstanding quality, degree, etc; supreme
- 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 loudlyCompare positive (def. 10), comparative (def. 3)
- (of language or style) excessive; exaggerated
- a thing that excels all others or is of the highest quality
- grammar the superlative form of an adjective
- the highest degree; peak
Word Origin and History for superlatively
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.
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.)