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su·per·la·tive (s-pûrlə-tĭv)
adj.
1. Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.
2. Excessive or exaggerated.
3. Grammar Of, relating to, or being the extreme degree of comparison of an adjective or adverb, as in best or brightest.
n.
1. Something of the highest possible excellence.
2. The highest degree; the acme.
3. Grammar
a. The superlative degree.
b. 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.

[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.]

su·perla·tive·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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