What Are Superlative Adjectives? - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Lindsey Hays

Lindsey has taught Elementary Education, Spanish immersion, and ESL. She has a MS in Elementary Education with a BA in Spanish.

When you want to describe the absolute best or worst of something, you use superlative adjectives. In this lesson, we'll learn how to use superlative adjectives and look at some examples.

The Absolute Best

Think of the yummiest food you've ever eaten, the tallest building you've ever seen and your most favorite movie of all time. Without knowing it, you've just had to compare all the foods you've ever eaten and all the buildings and movies you have ever seen to figure out the absolute biggest or best! And we have used superlative adjectives to describe them. Before we discuss these superlative adjectives further, let's review.

What is an Adjective?

Let's start from the beginning. An adjective is a word that describes a noun. An adjective can tell the color, shape, number, feeling, texture, and other descriptions of what a person, place, or object is like. Adjectives help us to visualize objects by giving us more information about them.

  • She could see the beautiful, blooming tree outside her closed window.

In this sentence, beautiful and blooming are adjectives that describe the noun, tree, while closed is an adjective that describes the noun, window.

In the example above, we used adjectives to describe a noun. Adjectives can also be used to compare nouns. Comparative adjectives are used when comparing two things, while superlative adjectives are used to compare three or more things. In this lesson, we are going to look at superlative adjectives and the rules you need in order to use them properly.

Superlative Adjectives

We use superlative adjectives to compare three or more things. When you describe something as not just big, but the biggest of the group, or something as the most delicious or yummiest thing you have tasted, you are using superlatives. Think of them as the utmost degree of something.

  • Skydiving was the most incredible experience.

Most incredible describes how skydiving is the utmost degree of exhilarating activities, comparing more than just two activities.

In the image with the Buddha statue, we use the superlative adjective tallest because the image is comparing three or more things.

The Buddha statue is the tallest.

Let's review the rules for making an adjective superlative and look at some more examples.

Rules for Superlative Adjectives

1. Add ''est'' to one syllable adjectives.

  • It was the coldest day of the year.

The adjective is cold. By adding ''est,'' we have made it the superlative adjective coldest, which is comparing that day to all the other days of the year.

2. When an adjective ends with an ''e,'' we just add ''st,'' since it already has the ''e'' of the ''est'' and it wouldn't make sense to have ''eest''.

  • The lion is the fiercest animal in the forest.

3. When an adjective has two or more syllables, use most or least in front of the adjective.

  • The most difficult homework was the history paper.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account