I. adjective Etymology: Middle English superlatif, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin superlativus, from Latin superlatus (past participle of superferre to carry over, raise high), from super- + latus, past participle of ferre to carry — more at tolerate, bear Date: 14th century 1. of, relating to, or constituting the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent 2. a. surpassing all others ; supreme b. of very high quality ; excellent <
superlative work
3. excessive, exaggerated • superlatively adverbsuperlativeness noun II. noun Date: 15th century 1. a. the superlative degree of comparison in a language b. a superlative form of an adjective or adverb 2. the superlative or utmost degree of something ; acme 3. a superlative person or thing 4. an admiring sometimes exaggerated expression especially of praise

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Superlative — Su per*la tive, n. 1. That which is highest or most eminent; the utmost degree. [1913 Webster] 2. (Gram.) (a) The superlative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, a form or word by which the superlative degree is expressed; as, strongest,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Superlative — Su per*la tive, a. [L. superlativus, fr. superlatus excessive, used as p. p. of superiorferre, but from a different root: cf. F. superlatif. See {Elate}, {Tolerate}.] 1. Lifted up to the highest degree; most eminent; surpassing all other;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • superlative — [sə pʉr′lə tiv, so͞opʉr′lə tiv] adj. [ME < MFr superlatif < LL superlativus < L superlatus, excessive < super , above, beyond + latus, pp. of ferre, to BEAR1] 1. superior to or excelling all other or others; of the highest kind,… …   English World dictionary

  • superlative — (adj.) late 14c., from O.Fr. superlatif (13c.), from L.L. superlativus exaggerated, superlative, from L. superlatus exaggerated (used as pp. of superferre carry over or beyond ), from super beyond (see SUPER (Cf. super )) + lat carry, from *tlat …   Etymology dictionary

  • superlative — I adjective best, champion, chief, consummate, crowning, excellent, excessive, eximius, extreme, first rate, foremost, greatest, highest, immoderate, incomparable, inflated, inimitable, matchless, most eminent, nonpareil, optimus, paramount,… …   Law dictionary

  • superlative — adj *supreme, transcendent, surpassing, peerless, incomparable, preeminent Analogous words: *consummate, finished, accomplished: *splendid, glorious, sublime, superb …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • superlative — [adj] excellent, first class A 1*, accomplished, all time*, best, capital, consummate, crack, effusive, exaggerated, excessive, extreme, finished, gilt edge*, greatest, highest, hundred proof*, inflated, magnificent, matchless, of highest order* …   New thesaurus

  • superlative — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of the highest quality or degree. 2) Grammar (of an adjective or adverb) expressing the highest or a very high degree of a quality (e.g. bravest, most fiercely). Contrasted with POSITIVE(Cf. ↑positivity) and COMPARATIVE(Cf.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Superlative — In grammar the superlative of an adjective or adverb is the greatest form of adjective or adverb which indicates that something has some feature to a greater degree than anything it is being compared to in a given context. For example, if Adam is …   Wikipedia

  • superlative — su|per|la|tive1 [su:ˈpə:lətıv, sju: US suˈpə:r ] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: superlatif, from Late Latin superlativus, from Latin superlatus, past participle of superferre to carry above, raise high ] 1.) excellent ▪ a superlative …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • superlative — 1 adjective 1 excellent: a superlative performance 2 a superlative adjective or adverb expresses the highest degree of a particular quality: The superlative form of good is best . compare comparative 1 (4) 2 noun 1 the superlative the superlative …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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