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superlative Syllabification: su·per·la·tive
Pronunciation: /səˈpərlədiv/

Definition of superlative in English:


1Of the highest quality or degree: a superlative piece of skill
More example sentences
  • It also makes one wonder how many superlative pieces of literature might be lurking out there, forgotten.
  • He was supposed to be recognized for his superlative skill with flight combat and drafted immediately into the test pilot corps.
  • At that time it was a contemporary drama; now it is a period piece, and the transition is managed with superlative intelligence.
excellent, magnificent, wonderful, marvelous, supreme, consummate, outstanding, remarkable, fine, choice, first-rate, first-class, premier, prime, unsurpassed, unequaled, unparalleled, unrivaled, preeminent
informal crack, ace, wicked, brilliant
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 and comparative.
Example sentences
  • The result was a phenomenal success and classical music critics around the world competed with each other to invent ever-new terms of superlative praise.


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1 Grammar A superlative adjective or adverb.
Example sentences
  • Joseph's resume is also peppered with superlatives.
  • This use of superlatives is poor journalism, period.
1.1 (the superlative) The highest degree of comparison.
Example sentences
  • It does so most often in the form of the comparative and the superlative of bad: worse and worst.
2 (usually superlatives) An exaggerated or hyperbolical expression of praise: the critics ran out of superlatives to describe him
More example sentences
  • And the only one who saw through the hyperbole and the meaningless superlatives was my Aunt Petunia, and she was half-deaf.
  • After writing nearly 100 DVD reviews, one begins to run out of superlatives to describe the better discs which pass before the eyes and ears.
  • I can heap superlatives attempting to describe the merits of this film.
3Something or someone embodying excellence.
Example sentences
  • A superlative driving-at-night song, shifting fancily around the curves as street lights roll over the windshield.


Late Middle English: from Old French superlatif, -ive, from late Latin superlativus, from Latin superlatus 'carried beyond', past participle of superferre.



[as submodifier]: he was superlatively fit
More example sentences
  • In the dry season (December to June) Castara Bay is superlatively clear, with a healthy coral reef beginning about 50 yards offshore.
  • The action is covered in a series of long takes with superlatively choreographed movement within the frame.
  • He had been recognized years ago as a superlatively gifted and disciplined craftsman.


Pronunciation: /səˈpərlədivnəs/
Example sentences
  • It is a movement of life which shows life in its superlativeness and at its best.
  • It is applied as an epithet denoting superlativeness of any quality.
  • I agree with you on the superlativeness of a really good dark chocolate truffle.

Definition of superlative in:

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