from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.
  • adj. Excessive or exaggerated.
  • adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being the extreme degree of comparison of an adjective or adverb, as in best or brightest.
  • n. Something of the highest possible excellence.
  • n. The highest degree; the acme.
  • n. Grammar The superlative degree.
  • n. Grammar An adjective or adverb expressing the superlative degree, as in brightest, the superlative of the adjective bright, or most brightly, the superlative of the adverb brightly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The highest extent or degree of something.
  • n. The form of an adjective that expresses which of more than two 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.
  • n. An adjective used to praise something exceptional.
  • adj. Exceptionally good; of the highest quality; superb.
  • adj. Of or relating to a superlative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Lifted up to the highest degree; most eminent; surpassing all other; supreme
  • adj. Expressing the highest or lowest degree of the quality, manner, etc., denoted by an adjective or an adverb. The superlative degree is formed from the positive by the use of -est, most, or least.
  • n. That which is highest or most eminent; the utmost degree.
  • n.
  • n. The superlative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, a form or word by which the superlative degree is expressed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Raised to or occupying the highest pitch, position, or degree; most eminent; surpassing all other; supreme: as, a man of superlative wisdom.
  • In grammar, noting that form of an adjective or an adverb which expresses the highest or utmost degree of the quality or manner: as, the superlative degree of comparison.
  • n. That which is highest or of most eminence; the utmost degree.
  • n. In grammar: The superlative degree of adjectives or adverbs, which is formed in English by the termination -est, as meanest, highest, bravest; hence, also, the equivalent phrase made by the use of most, as most high, most brave; or even of least, as least amiable.
  • n. A word or phrase in the superlative degree: as, to make much use of superlatives.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an exaggerated expression (usually of praise)
  • adj. highest in quality
  • n. the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development
  • n. the superlative form of an adjective or adverb


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English superlatif, from Old French, from Late Latin superlātīvus, from Latin superlātus, past participle of superferre, to carry over a person or thing, exaggerate : super-, super- + lātus, past participle of ferre, to carry; see telə- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


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  • SuperBadGirl: What a superlative comment!

    March 14, 2008

  • I had a boss who used to always say that things were really "superlative", we were all doing a "superlative" job. It was like getting compliments wrapped in a generic, store-brand label.

    March 14, 2008