superlative

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj superlative highest in quality
    • n superlative the superlative form of an adjective or adverb "`fastest' is the superlative of the adjective `fast'","`least famous' is the superlative degree of the adjective `famous'","`most surely' is the superlative of the adverb `surely'"
    • n superlative an exaggerated expression (usually of praise) "the critics lavished superlatives on it"
    • n superlative the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development "his landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty","the artist's gifts are at their acme","at the height of her career","the peak of perfection","summer was at its peak","...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame","the summit of his ambition","so many highest superlatives achieved by man","at the top of his profession"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Superlative (Gram) 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; as, highest most pleasant, least bright.
    • Superlative Lifted up to the highest degree; most eminent; surpassing all other; supreme; as, superlative wisdom or prudence; a woman of superlative beauty; the superlative glory of the divine character.
    • Superlative That which is highest or most eminent; the utmost degree.
    • Superlative (Gram) The superlative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, a form or word by which the superlative degree is expressed; as, strongest wisest most stormy least windy, are all superlatives .
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • superlative Raised to or occupying the highest pitch, position, or degree; most eminent; surpassing all other; supreme: as, a man of superlative wisdom.
    • superlative 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 superlative That which is highest or of most eminence; the utmost degree.
    • n superlative 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 superlative A word or phrase in the superlative degree: as, to make much use of superlatives.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Superlative sū-pėr′la-tiv raised above others or to the highest degree: superior to all others: most eminent:
    • n Superlative (gram.) the superlative or highest degree of adjectives and adverbs: any word or phrase full of exaggeration
    • adj Superlative sū-pėr′la-tiv (gram.) expressing the highest degree of a quality
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Quotations

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
    Oliver%20Wendell%20Holmes
    “People talk fundamentals and superlatives and then make some changes of detail.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. superlativus, fr. superlatus, excessive, used as p. p. of superiorferre, but from a different root: cf. F. superlatif,. See Elate Tolerate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. superlativussuperlatus, pa.p. of superferresuper, above, ferre, to carry.

Usage

In literature:

Beethoven's principal title to fame is in his superlative place as a symphonic composer.
"The Great German Composers" by George T. Ferris
He deals in superlatives.
"Talks on Talking" by Grenville Kleiser
He thinks it is something superlative to do everything in a startling way.
"Certain Personal Matters" by H. G. Wells
The regular degrees have been reckoned three; positive, comparative, and superlative.
"Lectures on Language" by William S. Balch
The cooking was none too good nor was the food itself of superlative quality.
"Bert Wilson in the Rockies" by J. W. Duffield
He was, to the outward seeing eye, superlatively well.
"The Helpmate" by May Sinclair
Two positive statements are made, or a superlative may be used.
"The Mafulu" by Robert W. Williamson
George Silver was a financier in the great style, and a superlatively honest one.
"Boy Woodburn" by Alfred Ollivant
He soon gets used to it, however, and accepts the superlatives without turning a hair.
"Spanish Life in Town and Country" by L. Higgin and Eugène E. Street
Yet I think on this occasion it must have been the superlative stage of hunger.
"Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons" by Henry Charles Mahoney
In descriptions of them superlative follows upon superlative.
"A Bird Calendar for Northern India" by Douglas Dewar
The superlative of the adverb is formed from the superlative of the adjective in the same way.
"Latin for Beginners" by Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge
They are superlatively correct and scholarly.
"Sixty Years of California Song" by Margaret Blake-Alverson
The Ethels and Dorothy and Della were doing their best to make a superlative record, also.
"Ethel Morton's Holidays" by Mabell S. C. Smith
She lived in a chronic state of surprises and superlatives.
"A Flat Iron for a Farthing" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
She thrust on poor Peter questions he was all unable to answer; she abounded in superlatives and tremendously strong objections.
"The Tragic Muse" by Henry James
The principles of composition-writing apply to advertising in the superlative degree.
"Practical English Composition: Book II." by Edwin L. Miller
But Tollman read into both the smile and the straight-gazing eyes a hypocrisy which superlatively embittered the blood in his veins.
"The Tyranny of Weakness" by Charles Neville Buck
Everything about him savoured of the superlative degree.
"Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines" by R.M. Ballantyne
Our tall superlative fop with the sleepy eyes and long whiskers was also there with his friend of the checked trousers.
"The Iron Horse" by R.M. Ballantyne
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In poetry:

I'm no Anthropophagite rude,
Though fed with human flesh and blood;
But live superlatively fine,
My food's all spirit, all divine.
"The Believer's Riddle; or, the Mystery of Faith" by Ralph Erskine
For, rough as he seems, he would shudder to wrong
A dog with the loss of a hair;
And the angels of shine and superlative song
See his heart and the deity there.
"Bill the Bullock-Driver" by Henry Kendall
I sing of a doctor—a doctor I sing;
God send such a doctor to every bad king;
For this is a quack of superlative skill,—
If he cannot cure, he can certainly kill.
"Lines On A Quack Doctor" by Samuel Bamford

In news:

North High School football coach Mike Wilson searched for superlatives in describing Castle's explosive offense.
Curious Quasi -Memoir From a Superlative Writer.
They've all experienced superlative service somewhere and they know where your competitors are.
PBS recently broadcast a superlative episode of the series, NOVA Science Now.
It's really a city of superlatives , and that's the mindset of the ruler.
USC far from superlative against Utah.
Spectrum Art & Jewelry earns IJO's Superlative Design and Innovation Award.
Latest News On The Move Spectrum Art & Jewelry earns IJO's Superlative Design and Innovation Award.
We're running out of superlatives for Adrian Peterson.
We took a look at our All-Big 12 Freshman team earlier today, but let's hand out a few superlatives from the young guys around the league.
Superlative Happiness on a Cold Little Rock.
There aren't many superlative lunch options around Levi 's Plaza at the tip of North Beach, but now there's Parlor 1255.
There aren't many superlative lunch options around Levi's Plaza at the tip of North Beach, but now there's Parlor 1255.
Beach Elementary School officials have found a new, creative and visual way of praising their superlative contributing businesses from their biggest fundraiser of the year.
Those posed portraits, candid shots and listings of senior superlatives make for fond memories each year for students at Lancaster High School.
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In science:

The key idea is to encode TM configurations by the information sets. 3we use the superlative “Super ” as, contrary to what Roberta c ould do in the game eA, SuperRoberta can take advantage of the extra information.
Opacity Issues in Games with Imperfect Information
There is no doubt that the summits of the plateau provide superlative conditions for the conduct of a wide range of observational astronomy.
The History of Astrophysics in Antarctica
The existence of huge temperature gradients is one of the many superlatives which are assigned to NSs.
Turning Points in the Evolution of Isolated Neutron Stars' Magnetic Fields
Despite this superlative recommendation, it would take almost two decades before Chandra launched.
The Making of the Chandra X-ray Observatory: the Project Scientist's Perspective
The pixel readout has 80 million channels, another one of the superlatives in ATLAS.
The ATLAS Detector: Status and Results from Cosmic Rays
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