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Superlative   /sʊpˈərlətɪv/   Listen
Superlative

noun
1.
An exaggerated expression (usually of praise).
2.
The highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development.  Synonyms: acme, elevation, height, meridian, peak, pinnacle, summit, tiptop, top.  "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"
3.
The superlative form of an adjective or adverb.  Synonym: superlative degree.  "'least famous' is the superlative degree of the adjective 'famous'" , "'most surely' is the superlative of the adverb 'surely'"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Superlative" Quotes from Famous Books



... horses, cruel riders, knowing men, dupes, jockeys, gamblers, and a large assemblage of mixed company. But this is a gayer scene than most others; and every epithet, appropriate to a course, diminutive or otherwise, must be in the superlative degree when applied to Ascot. This is the general, and often the only impression that most ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... Despite the superlative snappiness of Mr. Silberfarb's dress-suits his establishment was a loft over a delicatessen, approached by a splintery stairway along which hung shabby signs announcing the upstairs offices of "J. L. & T. J. O'Regan, ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... river, from the happy frame of body and mind we were in, owing to the excellent dinner we had just partaken of at that place, consisting of roast beef, roast turkey, apple tart, cranberry preserve, and a most superlative Charlotte Russe—pretty good fare for an hotel in a mountain pass! No wine or stimulants of any kind were allowed, or what the consequence might have been on papa's restless state of mind it would be difficult to say; as it was, I counted that he rose from his seat to look at the view ...
— First Impressions of the New World - On Two Travellers from the Old in the Autumn of 1858 • Isabella Strange Trotter

... datum that the majority of the most populous and powerful historical peoples of the world have been located on soils that thirst for water, may find its explanation in the intrinsic value of arid soils. From Babylon to the United States is a far cry; but it is one that shouts to the world the superlative merits of the soil that begs for water. To learn how to use the "desert" is to make it ...
— Dry-Farming • John A. Widtsoe

... had finished the reading, the chorister arose with superlative dignity, and gave the key. Unfortunately, the choir dropped a tone or two too low, and the first verse was sung at that disadvantage. Discovering the blunder, the key was again given, but the singers were now getting nervous, and instead of rising, they ...
— Thirty Years in the Itinerancy • Wesson Gage Miller

... said my father, familiarly, "you son would know that though a scholar is often a fool, he is never a fool so supreme, so superlative, as when he is defacing the first unsullied page of the human history by entering into it the commonplaces of his own pedantry. A scholar, sir,—at least one like me,—is of all persons the most unfit to teach young children. A mother, sir,—a simple, natural, loving mother,—is the ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... There be three manner of plantations of new sects. By the power of signs and miracles; by the eloquence, and wisdom, of speech and persuasion; and by the sword. For martyrdoms, I reckon them amongst miracles; because they seem to exceed the strength of human nature: and I may do the like, of superlative and admirable holiness of life. Surely there is no better way, to stop the rising of new sects and schisms, than to reform abuses; to compound the smaller differences; to proceed mildly, and not with sanguinary persecutions; and rather to take off the principal ...
— Essays - The Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral, Of Francis Ld. - Verulam Viscount St. Albans • Francis Bacon

... objects are compared, the comparative and not the superlative degree should be used; thus, "Mary is the older of the two"; "John is the stronger of the two"; "Brown is the richer of the two, and the richest man in the city"; "Which is the more desirable, health or wealth?" "Which is the most ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... enamoured of this offspring of your brain, that you imagine it impossible, but he must produce something greater and more perfect than the present scene of things, which is so full of ill and disorder. You forget, that this superlative intelligence and benevolence are entirely imaginary, or, at least, without any foundation in reason; and that you have no ground to ascribe to him any qualities, but what you see he has actually exerted and displayed in his productions. Let ...
— An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding • David Hume et al

... Mr. Pantin's manner was urbane but, observing him closely, Mrs. Toomey noted that his eyes suddenly presented the curious illusion of two slate-gray pools covered with skim ice. It was not an encouraging sign and her heart sank in spite of the superlative suavity of the tone ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... purpose by the mere restlessness of elemental forces; the amount of probability of their having been so produced being, however, according to the formula already set forth in its proper place, as one to infinity multiplied more or less frequently by itself. But what adequate superlative shall we invent to express the credulity, the credulosity run mad, of those who, in a matter of scientific belief, deliberately accept such odds. Observe how at once extravagantly gratuitous and painfully elaborate such credulosity is; how easily, on the one ...
— Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics - With Some of Their Applications • William Thomas Thornton

... be fondly chosen and pursued in proportion to its worth in administering to our enjoyments, and the other is to be avoided in proportion to its unhappy effects in multiplying our sorrows. This being an undeniable fact, the superlative value of a good name, procured by a virtuous course of conduct, appears, at once, to transcend all other considerations: A pure unsullied conscience before heaven is the most permanent bliss that a rational being can enjoy, and is of that enduring nature which no earthly power or ...
— Twenty-Four Short Sermons On The Doctrine Of Universal Salvation • John Bovee Dods

... too minutely into the cause which might actuate him in this instance: suffice it to say, he immediately put the plan in execution; and in three days from the time he first saw the unfortunate Lieutenant, he had the superlative felicity of seeing him at liberty, and receiving an ample reward in the tearful eye and half articulated thanks of the ...
— Charlotte Temple • Susanna Rowson

... merits well of the republic, for doing what she can do towards the hospitalities of the season. I'm sure I never cursed her in my heart, even when her strong coffee has held mine eyes open till morning, and her superlative lobster salads have given me the very darkest views of human life that ever dyspepsia and east wind could engender. Mrs. Bogus is the Eve who offers the apple; but after all, I am the foolish Adam who take and eat what I know ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... and reared all along almost on the verge of destitution; became eminent by his heroic devotion to scholarship, both as a translator and editor of classical works, his edition of "Virgil" the chief in the latter department; Carlyle almost ranks him among his heroes, and ascribes superlative merit to his book ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... in the tone of ecstasy broke suddenly on the air upon this new entrance, shattering what little composure Nehemiah had been able to muster; a wide-mouthed exaggeration of welcome in superlative phrases and ready chorus. Swiftly turning, he saw nothing for a moment, for he looked at the height which a man's head might reach, and the new-comer measured hardly two feet in stature, waddled with a very uncertain gait, ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... two miles and a half; and here she is, back at the nest, after foraging on the way, for the doughty creature arrives with her abdomen yellow with pollen. To come home again from the verge of the horizon is wonderful in itself; to come home with a well-filled pollen-brush is superlative economy. A journey, even a forced journey, ...
— The Mason-bees • J. Henri Fabre

... Spanish countries the mental activity of the people is principally manifested in an exuberant imagination which finds expression in superlative and poetical language. If there were any corresponding creative genius and executive ability in material affairs such a fertile and well-watered land as Puerto Rico would be the home of one of the richest communities ...
— Porto Rico - Its History, Products and Possibilities... • Arthur D. Hall

... positive. If I say, 'My abbe is better than another abbe,' that is the comparative. And," he continued, turning his eyes toward the queen with an expression of intense affection, "if I say, 'My mamma is the dearest and best of all mammas,' that is the superlative." [Footnote: The dauphin's own words.—See Beauchesne's "Louis ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... darling? Worse is a word that couldn't be applied to that man. Worse is comparative. Positive he certainly was, superlative is mild, ...
— The Courting Of Lady Jane • Josephine Daskam

... and of the wisdom that comes with many years, tell you that if ever we are to free ourselves from the yoke of the oppressor, and to restore Peru to its ancient position of power and glory, we must be helped and guided in that great, that almost impossible task, by one who unites within himself superlative wisdom and superlative courage; and the crowning proof, to my mind, that heaven has now at last fulfilled its glorious promise is to be found in the fact that it has ordained our new Inca to be born an ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

... three powers that can open the stage door to a girl who comes straight from private life,—a fortune, great influence, or superlative beauty. With a large amount of money a girl can unquestionably tempt a manager whose business is not too good, to give her an engagement. If influence is used, it must indeed be of a high social order to be strong enough favourably ...
— Stage Confidences • Clara Morris

... the tremendous dream of their preparations postpones the beginning of the reality. Their mistake, if they have made a mistake, is an error of generosity. They are building with a view to flinging millions into the line when thousands a little earlier would be of superlative advantage. They had the choice of dribbling their men over in small contingents or of waiting till they could put a fighting-force into the field so overwhelming in equipment and numbers that its weight would be decisive. They were urged to learn wisdom from England's example ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... his confidence in fate. Eight years and three months nominally in the service, out of which in reality he had been absent four years and ten months either on furlough or without one, and already a general! Neither blind luck, nor the revolutionary epoch, nor the superlative ability of the man, but a compound of all these, had brought this marvel to pass. It did not intoxicate, but still further sobered, the beneficiary. This effect was partly due to an experience which demonstrated that strong as are the chains of habit, they are more easily broken than those ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... Poyser was smoking his pipe, and his good-nature was therefore at its superlative moment, Hetty seized the opportunity of her aunt's absence to say, "Uncle, I wish you'd let me go ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... the whites, instead of the whites only; and as if slavery protected the rights of the slave instead of annihilating them. I thank God that I was withheld from the great folly and great sin of acknowledging a law for slavery—a law for any piracy—least of all for the superlative piracy. Nor have you forgotten how incessantly, in the late war, our enemies, Northern as well as Southern, were calling for this observance of the Constitution. As if the purpose of that paper was to serve those whose parricidal hands were at the throat ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... idea is nothing less than atrocious; and, in our judgment, the Adapter's actual purpose in putting it forth is to make his own superlative goodness seem proved by a ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 15, July 9, 1870 • Various

... manage a third day's work in these parts as soon as possible. I should like to get to the third degree of comparison, and perhaps the superlative will turn up trumps for me somehow. Are there many more young women in the place as pretty as Mrs. Winburn? This marrying complaint is very ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... tenderness as only a spirit could smile, and pure as he had never dreamed purity could be. Her purity smote him like a blow. It startled him. He had known good and bad; but purity, as an attribute of existence, had never entered his mind. And now, in her, he conceived purity to be the superlative of goodness and of cleanness, the sum of ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... p. 983, as Josephus could not but know very well; but that he was esteemed as very ancient by them, and that they knew they had been first of all denominated "Danai" from this very ancient king Danaus. Nor does this superlative degree always imply the "most ancient" of all without exception, but is sometimes to be rendered "very ancient" only, as is the case in the like superlative degrees of other ...
— Against Apion • Flavius Josephus

... away the impermanencies of that ancient age, and left standing but the palaces built upon the rock of the Soul. The Soul made the Upanishads, as it mide Paradise Lost; it made the former in the Golden Age, and the latter in this Age of Iron; the former through men gifted with superlative vision; the latter through a blind old bard. Therein lies the difference: all our bards, our very greatest, have been blind,—Dante and Shakespeare, no less than Milton. Full-flowing Time washed away the impermanencies of that ancient age, and left standing but the rock-built ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... is no love like His—so pure and constant and satisfying. What the sun is to a star-light, and the ocean to a pool left by the retiring tide, such is the love of Jesus compared with all other love. To have it is superlative blessedness; to miss it ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... comparative and superlative of infamy hitherto! but we must turn to "Grand old Texas" to find unblushing effrontry and irremediable rascality. Some months ago a creature named Otis, who conducts somewhere in Southern California a putrid abortion miscalled a newspaper, declared ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... late, and lengthened out by the greater lateness of many of the guests, and the superlative tardiness of the lady of the house, who had repudiated the cares of the hostess, and left the tea-equipage to her sister-in-law. Lucilla had been down-stairs among the first, and hurried away again after a rapid meal, forbidding any one to follow her, because she had so much to do, and on entering ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... truly benefited by such a period of close contact with people who ought by experience and knowledge to know better than he. The only thing that is probable is a falling-off, not an advance. I think it highly doubtful whether a ploughman from Ayrshire, however superlative his genius, would now be received at all in "the best houses" and by the first men and women in Edinburgh; and if not in Edinburgh, surely nowhere else would such a reception as that given to Burns await the untutored poet. The world has seldom another chance permitted to it, and in this case ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... crudelissimus, not 'cruelest man,' but 'most cruel man.' The superlative is often thus used to denote simply a high degree ...
— Ritchie's Fabulae Faciles - A First Latin Reader • John Kirtland, ed.

... discovering herself to May Hettly, by betraying her acquaintance with the celebrated receipt for Dunlop cheese, that she compared herself to Bedreddin Hassan, whom the vizier, his father-in-law, discovered by his superlative skill in composing cream-tarts with pepper in them. But when the novelty of such avocations ceased to amuse her, she showed to her sister but too plainly, that the gaudy colouring with which she veiled her unhappiness afforded as little real comfort, as the gay uniform of the soldier when ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... open your mouth and shut your eyes! It is a draught of Troy's own vintage that I offer you; racy, fragrant of the soil, from a cask these hundred years sunk, so that it carries a smack, too, of the submerging brine. You know the old recipe for Wine of Cos, that full-bodied, seignorial, superlative, translunary wine. ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... you were to my sight then, you have never—youth's loveliness set at defiance—been less so since. Forty years I think I have known you well. Thirty years we have been friends; and that word needs no epithet nor superlative to make it precious. This morning I called my wife to come and sit down by me, saying, "I will read you an old man's Idyl." And I read that in the March number of the "Atlantic." I believe Holmes wrote it; but whoever did, it is beautiful, and more than that it was ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... be, he will be a failure if he has not learned the great secret of dogged persistence in often unwelcomed toil. No character worth building up is built without continuous effort. If a man does not labour to be good, he will surely become bad. It is an old axiom that no man attains superlative wickedness all at once, and most certainly no man leaps to the height of the goodness possible to his nature by one spring. He has laboriously, and step by step, to climb the hill. Progress in moral character is secured by ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Johnson's own superlative powers of wit set him above any risk of such uneasiness. Garrick had remarked to me of him, a few days before, 'Rabelais and all other wits are nothing compared with him. You may be diverted by them; but Johnson ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... likewise, but no one is independent of genial society; and though in about a month she had made the acquaintance of most of the families round, and was on quite free and easy terms with all the Misses Sykes, and all the Misses Pearson, and the two superlative Misses Wynne of Walden Hall, yet, it appeared, she found none amongst them very genial: she fraternized with none of them, to use her own words. If she had had the bliss to be really Shirley Keeldar, Esq., lord ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... everywhere some restraint upon him. He is guarded with crowds, and shackled with formalities. The half hat, the whole hat, the half smile, the whole smile, the nod, the embrace, the positive parting with a little bow, the comparative at the middle of the room, the superlative at the door; and if the person be Pan huper sebastos, there's a Huper superlative ceremony then of conducting him to the bottom of the stairs, or to the very gate: as if there were such rules set to these Leviathans as ...
— Cowley's Essays • Abraham Cowley

... blight his faith in the superlative Mr. Shaw, and said nothing. This evidently pained him, and as we stood leaning on the rail in the shadow of the deck-house, watching the blue water slide by, he continued to sound the praises of his idol. It seemed that as soon as Miss Browne had beguiled ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... he had left unspoken to her. He was back again before the fire, telling her all that he did not tell her then. One gorgeous image after another swarmed to his brain. He was like a poet gone mad. He crowded sentence upon sentence, superlative upon superlative, until he found himself upon his feet, his cheeks hot, and his breath coming short. Then he caught sight of the crimson stain upon the wall and felt himself a murderer. He staggered back and threw himself full-length upon the couch, panting like one at the end of a long run. ...
— The Seventh Noon • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... which, at present, we do not see. Our ears are educated to music by his rhythm. Coleridge and Goethe are the only critics who have expressed our convictions with any adequate fidelity: but there is in all cultivated minds a silent appreciation of his superlative power and beauty, which, ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... for the occasion; of which alternatives it is ten to one that the latter will be adopted. True it is that the ball-room at Willis's (in old days so well known as Almack's), though far too narrow for its length, offers a floor of superlative smoothness, and that its position, in the very heart of the St. James's quarter, leaves nothing to be desired; but the place is so generally associated with festivities of the public and semi-public ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... seat of his mistress. In not perceiving La Valliere, a frown came over his brow; but as soon as he saw D'Artagnan, who bowed to him—"Ah! monsieur!" cried he, "you have been diligent! I am much pleased with you." This was the superlative expression of royal satisfaction. Many men would have been ready to lay down their lives for such a speech from the king. The maids of honor and the courtiers, who had formed a respectful circle round the king on his entrance, drew back, on observing ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... labour. In such excursions we only part for a while; I am generally sure to find them again the following fall. This elopement of theirs only adds to my recreations; I know how to deceive even their superlative instinct; nor do I fear losing them, though eighteen miles from my house, and lodged in the most lofty trees, in the most impervious of our forests. I once took you along with me in one of these rambles, ...
— Letters from an American Farmer • Hector St. John de Crevecoeur

... returned from a lecturing tour in the United States, and were much amused with her experiences. Having taken prolonged trips over the whole country, from Maine to Texas, for many successive years, Miss Anthony and I could easily add the superlative to all her narrations. ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... of faults. In overloading his sentences with jewelry he frequently obscures the sense; his beauties often degenerate into mere prettiness; his sweetness cloys. His free indulgence of the emotions, often at the expense of the intellect, leads to a riotous extravagance of superlative. But, above all, his richness distracts attention from matter to manner. In the case of an author so profoundly in earnest, this could not but be unfortunate; nothing enraged him more than to have people ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... this golden land; but melancholy is it to say, for the old purpose, as in olden times in the old country, 'FOR THE REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES;' and so yesterday we had a monster meeting on Bakery-hill, and I was the delegate of upwards of one thousand foreigners, or 'aliens,' according to the superlative ...
— The Eureka Stockade • Carboni Raffaello

... wryte in prayse of a gentlewoman, I would neither praise her christal eye, nor her cherrie lippe, etc. For these things are trita et obvia. But I would either find some supernaturall cause whereby my penne might walke in the superlative degree, or els I would undertake to answer for any imperfection that shee hath, and thereupon rayse the ...
— Rhetoric and Poetry in the Renaissance - A Study of Rhetorical Terms in English Renaissance Literary Criticism • Donald Lemen Clark

... more, if the Covenants be excepted, to give the Covenanted Church decision, stability, permanence, spiritedness, and undecaying strength, than the superlative formulas of truth produced by this illustrious Assembly. Our inheritance received from their hands should awaken our admiration for the men and our interest ...
— Sketches of the Covenanters • J. C. McFeeters

... and after the peace they spent some summer vacations in visits to the continent. They visited Switzerland, still unhackneyed, though Byron and Shelley were celebrating its charms. Long afterwards I used to hear from my mother of the superlative beauties of the Wengern Alp and the Staubbach (though she never, I suspect, read 'Manfred'), and she kept up for years a correspondence with a monk of the hospital on the St. Bernard. Her first child, Herbert Venn Stephen, was born September 30, 1822; and about this ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... reigns over the intelligible world, in that it gives birth to it by virtue of its inexhaustible fruitfulness.[642] The Supreme Good is GOD himself, and he is designated "the good" because this term seems most fittingly to express his essential character and essence.[643] It is towards this superlative perfection that the reason lifts itself; it is towards this infinite beauty the heart aspires. "Marvellous Beauty!" exclaims Plato; "eternal, uncreated, imperishable beauty, free from increase and diminution... beauty which has nothing sensible, nothing corporeal, as hands or face: which does ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... fact in the large cities where the struggle of life is superlative they outlast the men. About the time the children are grown, the husband, owing to the prolonged and terrific strain in competing with thousands of men as competent as himself, to keep his family in comfort, educate his children, ...
— The Living Present • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... with profound recognition of the finely elaborated execution, and also of the inward perfection of vacancy—and, to say truth, with considerable impatience at being treated so very like infants though the lollipops were so superlative. We gladly changed for one Emerson's 'English Traits;' and read that with increasing and ever increasing satisfaction every evening; blessing heaven that there were still books ...
— Home Life of Great Authors • Hattie Tyng Griswold

... Agnes Pine had surrendered two millions sterling to become Mrs. Noel Lambert. Some romantic people praised her as a noble woman, who placed love above mere money, while others loudly declared her to be a superlative fool. But one and all agreed that she must have loved her cousin all the time, and that clearly the marriage with the deceased millionaire had been forced on by Garvington, for family reasons connected with the poverty of the Lamberts. ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... is a strong temptation to work the superlative to its limit. In this instance it is well to overcome temptation by succumbing ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... what was the truth in speaking of his success, he became a subscriber to the Wiener Theaterzeitung, and had it sent to Warsaw. The criticism is somewhat long, but as this first step into the great world of art was an event of superlative importance to Chopin, and is one of more than ordinary interest to us, I do not hesitate to transcribe it in full so far as it relates to our artist. Well, what we read in the Wiener Theaterzeitung of August 20, 1829, ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... that the Prince had not been able to devour me; for whom do we labour? I know that we are obliged to act as we do; I know, too, that we cannot do better; but should we rejoice at the fatal necessity which pushes us on to exert an action comparatively good and which will unavoidably end in a superlative evil?" ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... bring out to clearer demonstration the superlative glory of Christ than a thoughtful consideration of the story of the forerunner. They were born at the same time; were surrounded from their birth by similar circumstances; drank in from their earliest days the same patriotic aspirations, the same sacred ...
— John the Baptist • F. B. Meyer

... her once and for all. She was the sublimation of every dream that his romantic heart had conceived. He felt faint for a moment at the difficulties which bristled between himself and this superlative being, but he was a youthful conqueror, and life had been very amiable to him. He shook courage into his spirit and asked to be presented to ...
— The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories • Gertrude Atherton

... will be tired of all these fussy appreciations. But what one seems to miss nowadays is the presence of a writer of superlative lucidity and humanity, for whose books one waits with avidity, and orders them beforehand, as soon as they are announced. For one thing, most people seem to me to write too much. The moment a real success is scored, the temptation, no doubt adroitly ...
— The Upton Letters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... detestably over-cultivated garden. I'm sick of being told that it's the envy of the neighbourhood; it's like everything else that belongs to her—her car, her dinner-parties, even her headaches, they are all superlative; no one else ever had anything like them. When her eldest child was confirmed it was such a sensational event, according to her account of it, that one almost expected questions to be asked about it in the House ...
— The Toys of Peace • Saki

... going to believe this," I say. "Once I didn't believe it myself. I realize that it all sounds impossible. But after you've once been there—" Then I'm off. When I've finished, there isn't an hysterical superlative adjective or a complimentary abstract noun unused in my vocabulary. I've told all the East about California. I've told many of the countries of Europe about California. I even tell Californians about California. I will say to the credit of Californians though that they listen. ...
— The Native Son • Inez Haynes Irwin

... being angry with Tanno than I had ever been in our lives. I comprehended why he, with all his superlative equipment of tact and intuition, had blundered; he could not but assume that circumstances were as they should have been rather than as they were; yet the blunder was, in a sense, unforgivable, and had created a social situation than which ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... the ultimate outcome, to use a double superlative, "a parliament of man and federation of the world" will be established which shall divide and distribute commerce as railroads are now said to agree on division of business and ...
— The Young Man and the World • Albert J. Beveridge

... religion. I have travelled the world over—I mean the inhabited parts—and in its broad extent there is not a people without worship of some kind. Wherefore my assertion, that beyond the arts, above the sciences, above commerce, above any or all other human concernments, religion is the superlative interest. It alone is divine. The study of it is worship. Knowledge of it is knowledge of God. Can as much be said ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... dissenter in most cases is an original thinker, to whom his enforced departure from the ways of his fathers is misery and pain. Generally he has a hard struggle with himself before he can give up, for the superlative truth which has taken possession of him, all the habits, the pious traditions of his life. He is the real Nonconformist—half martyr, half victim, of his convictions. But that Nonconformity which has come to be the faith in which a large number of people are trained is a totally different business, ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... up in some way for the deficiency of her musical performance. If plainness of dress indicates powers of song as it usually does, then Phoebe ought to be unrivaled in musical ability, for surely that ashen-gray suit is the superlative of plainness; and that form, likewise, would hardly pass for a "perfect figure" of a bird. The seasonableness of her coming, however, and her civil, neighborly ways, shall make up for all deficiencies in song and plumage. After a few weeks phoebe is seldom seen, except ...
— Wake-Robin • John Burroughs

... Superlative Absolute[39] is by adding isimo instead of using muy. If the adjective ends in a vowel, this is elided before ...
— Pitman's Commercial Spanish Grammar (2nd ed.) • C. A. Toledano

... effects upon the several figures Carter was invited to admire, and so on to a score of topics. The first thing was to make Carter think and talk, which he did in the happy-go-lucky way of his class, uttering nine mighty simple remarks, and then a bit of superlative wisdom, or something that sounded like it. And when he had shot his random bolts, Mr. Eden would begin and treat each picture as a text, and utter much wisdom on it ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... superlative, but in reality a point just below it should have been struck. For the dramatist, sending his imagination beyond earth to heaven, reserves one peak unscalable in the ascent of man towards the ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... for which one of the toothless grannies at Almack's would have given half her dowry, seemed to be anxious of trying the experiment of how far the heart of an Englishman was susceptible of the tender passion, especially when excited by objects of such superlative beauty. It may be supposed that neither Clapperton nor Houston had as yet taken any lessons in the art and mystery of African dancing, and as to waltzing, neither of them felt any great inclination to be encircled in the arms of a negress, who, although ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... the ceiling of Veronese the dreaded Three still sat in secret council. Venice was still the city of subtle poisons and dangerous mysteries, but the days were gone when she had held the balance in European affairs, and she had become, in a superlative degree, the city of pleasure. Nowhere was life more varied and entertaining, more full of grace ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... the play with Hobhouse. Mrs. Jordan superlative in Hoyden, and Jones well enough in Foppington. What plays! what wit!—helas! Congreve and Vanbrugh are your only comedy. Our society is too insipid now for the like copy. Would not go to Lady Keith's. Hobhouse thought it odd. I wonder he should like parties. If one is in ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. III - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... called the national character. Apart from any natural prepossession in my own favour, I believed I was. Still, in every page of this enlightened writer, I find some captivating hypocrisy which has never occurred to me before, or some superlative piece of selfishness to which I was utterly a stranger. I should quite blush for myself before this stupendous creature, if remembering his precepts, one might blush at anything. An amazing man! a nobleman indeed! any King or Queen may make a Lord, but only ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... manner of his genius from this piece, would undoubtedly suppose that he abounded in filthy images, and excelled in describing the lower scenes of life." Let all such blockheads suppose what they choose. Pope—says Roscoe—"was well aware as any one of the superlative beauties and merits of Spenser, whose works he assiduously studied, both in his early and riper years; but it was not his intention in these few lines to give a serious imitation of him. All that he attempted was to show how exactly he could apply the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

... table, a sofa, three or four chairs, and a piano. Everything was plain, but equally obviously everything was expensive, and the general impression given was that the owner had no desire to be surrounded by things he did not want, but insisted on the superlative quality of the things he did. The rugs, for instance, happened to be of silk, the bookcase happened to be Hepplewhite, the piano bore the most eminent of makers' names. There were three mezzotints on the walls, a dragon's-blood vase on the high, carved chimney-piece; the whole bore the unmistakable ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... detached from all that is topical or historical, or documentary or actual. It is also necessarily an effect of fine shades, delicate values, vanishing distinctions, of evasiveness, inconsequence, suggestion. It is also absolute, unrelated—it is positive or negative or superlative—it is never comparative. Well, the Anglo-Saxon public is totally insensible to such things. They can no more feel them, than a blind worm can feel the ...
— The Cardinal's Snuff-Box • Henry Harland

... double-shuttered. Now, it seems to be a law of nature that we must show our true selves at some time, and as the Scot must do it at home, and squeeze a day into an hour, what follows is that there he is self-revealing in the superlative degree, the feelings so long dammed up overflow, and thus a Scotch family are probably better acquainted with each other, and more ignorant of the life outside their circle, than any other family in the world. And as knowledge is sympathy, the affection ...
— Margaret Ogilvy • James M. Barrie

... with those of Brahms as being among the great works in its class. Some of its lovers, in fact, would risk an unqualified superlative and call it the greatest. It certainly is remarkable for its inspired themes, its bold harmonies, its free and yet organic structure and for that sublime fervor which was the basis of Franck's genius. It is, in two respects, at least, a highly original work: in the unusual ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... purple, came in, and thought how like a sacred picture he looked; this, for her, was superlative praise. Martha's brother was there, ringing the one bell, which gave such a small fugitive sound that it made the white chapel seem like a tinkling bell-wether lost ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... [548] The superlative dextimus does not differ in meaning from the positive dexter. See Zumpt, S 114, note 1. [549] Minime cari; that is, maxime viles, 'who were most indifferent,' or 'valueless to him,' whose lives he was least inclined to spare. [550] 'As if he had not placed (there) any commander.' Imponere, ...
— De Bello Catilinario et Jugurthino • Caius Sallustii Crispi (Sallustius)

... incurred the emperor's displeasure. The true character of this person had escaped the keen discernment of Horace, as well as the sagacity of the emperor; for in two epistles addressed to Lollius, he mentions him as great and accomplished in the superlative degree; maxime Lolli, liberrime Lolli; so imposing had been the manners and address ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... understood and memorized by every child. It has formed the basis of the religious education of German youth ever since. Though preceded by other catechisms from the pen of this and that colleague or disciple, it speedily displaced them all, not simply because of its authorship, but because of its superlative merit, and has alone maintained itself in general use. The versatility of the Reformer in adapting himself with such success to the needs of the young and immature is no less than extraordinary. Such a little book as this ...
— Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church • Friedrich Bente

... whistled a little frivolous tune Which he felt to be pulsing with ecstasy, For he thought that success always followed desire, Such a very superlative fool was he. ...
— A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass • Amy Lowell

... more abundant manifestation of womanly intellect in France? The primary one, perhaps, lies in the physiological characteristics of the Gallic race—the small brain and vivacious temperament which permit the fragile system of woman to sustain the superlative activity requisite for intellectual creativeness; while, on the other hand, the larger brain and slower temperament of the English and Germans are, in the womanly organization, generally dreamy and passive. The type of humanity ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... engaged the interest of Tom McNeil, who said admiringly, as I, too, looked through the bars, "Ain't he a prompt little cuss?" I felt that with Tom it was the fascination of opposites; he never could understand superlative energy. ...
— Meadow Grass - Tales of New England Life • Alice Brown

... that transit His mercy shines forth more; and thus said David (Psalm, XLVII, 21) Domini, Domini, exitus mortis; [272] whence that reduplication which the Hebrew grammar calls ohatsere, [273] signifies the superlative in name and action. The same is the declaration of divine wisdom (Proverbs, XX): In viis justitiae ambulo, in medio semitarum judicii, ut ditem diligentes me. [274] The Father celestial summons them ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 40 of 55 • Francisco Colin

... of my maisteris dere, Gowere and Chaucere, that on steppis satt Of rhetorick, quhill thai war lyvand here, Superlative as poets laureate, In moralitee and eloquence ornate, I recommend my buik in lynis seven, And eke their saulis ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, - Issue 570, October 13, 1832 • Various

... deceived, philosophers say, is a misfortune, but not to be deceived is a superlative misfortune. If it is human to err, why should a man be called unhappy because he errs, since he was so born and made, and it is the fate of all? Do we pity a man because he cannot fly or does not ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... have their warehouses; and in the third, they usually live with their families. Those three different regions, sorry am I to say it, are all very dirty; indeed they may be said to be the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees of uncleanness. There are no glazed sashes in the windows, so that when it rains, and the shutters are closed, you are involved in utter darkness. The furniture is miserably scanty—some old fashioned, high backed, hardwood chairs, with a profusion of tarnished ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... was looking unusually well, and even those who had dubbed her "The Beautiful Yankee" added another superlative adjective. A spot of bright red burned in either cheek and she held her head very high. "How haughty she is!" Prescott heard some one say. Her height, her figure, her look lent colour ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... sprang up from a chair and curtsied fearsomely at the astonishing spectacle of Mr. Prohack, was fat in a superlative degree, and her obesity gave her a middle-aged air to which she probably had no right by the almanac. She looked quite forty, and might well have been not more than thirty. She made a typical London figure of the nondescript industrial class. It is inadequate to say that her shabby black-trimmed ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... his ship, but with a crew of two men, neither of whom could even steer, nor were they accustomed to go aloft; while he had fifteen prisoners below, who would naturally lose no opportunity of retaking the ship. His greatest difficulties were only now beginning. What consciousness of his superlative seaman-like qualities, what perfect and just self-reliance he must have possessed, to have undertaken the task of navigating a ship completely across the Atlantic with such means at his disposal! Considerate and generous, as well as brave, as soon as he had shaped a course ...
— Our Sailors - Gallant Deeds of the British Navy during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... ancient Greeks, in their sculpture, for the delineation of their gods permitted themselves the use of the heroic size and made their immortals and their demi-gods more than common tall, and more than common comely, so might the modern historian seem privileged in the use of a superlative style in dealing with a life so phenomenal, so unbounded by the average horizon, so ungoverned by the ordinary laws. And yet no more is needed than the cold statement of the stages in that great story, of the steps which conducted to the summit ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... are nothing but vanity. He praises you from vanity, abuses you from vanity, loves and hates you from vanity. He is vain of his person, of his wealth, of his birth, of his title, vain of all he has, and all he has not. He sets so great a value on his innumerable and superlative good qualities, that he really has not been able (until he met with your humble servant) to find any individual of our sex on whom he could, conscientiously, bestow so great a treasure as his own right hand must inevitably give away. This has been the only reason—he ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... material left littered about, the enemy must indeed have beat a hasty retreat. The dug-outs were filthy to the last degree, and there was no sign of any system of sanitation having been used by these people, who (p. 062) considered their "Kultur" to be superlative, and who desired to impose it on the rest of mankind. All through the campaign, whenever one had the opportunity of inspecting hostile trenches and billets, one always found the same thing, filth and lack ...
— Three years in France with the Guns: - Being Episodes in the life of a Field Battery • C. A. Rose

... ecclesiastical history on the Continent, no period of equal intelligence is marked by the same degree of religious coldness and petrifaction. Theology was a special sufferer. The most useful departments were neglected, while the least essential were raised to superlative importance. Andreae places the following language on the neglect of the study of church history, in the mouth of Truth: "History, since she is exiled with me, readily consents to be silent and laughs at the experience of those who, because they ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... 1682, the Benchers of the Temples, wishing to obtain for their church an organ of superlative excellence, invited Father Smith and Renatus Harris to compete for the honor of supplying the instrument. The masters of the benchers pledged themselves that "if each of these excellent artists would set up an organ in one of the halls belonging to either of the societies, ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... has been said it will be seen that Dante's masterpiece is largely based on literature of Irish origin; but there are other superlative exhibitions of human genius of which the same is true. One of these is the story of Tristan and Isolde. Tristan is the paragon of all knightly accomplishments, the most versatile figure in the entire literature of chivalry; while Isolde is an Irish princess. By a trick ...
— The Glories of Ireland • Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox

... shipping problems, now Secretary of State in President Wilson's Cabinet, was approached as a suffragist, known to have access to the President. Mr. Colby had just returned from abroad when I saw him. He is a cultivated gentleman, but he knows how to have superlative enthusiasm. ...
— Jailed for Freedom • Doris Stevens

... into a complete and passionate faith in the Christian religion and in the incarnation. He said that while love was the main principle in religion as a way of life, the most important contribution to humanity made by religion was hope. Hope in the destiny of man, in the superlative value of the individual, in the Personality of our Father ...
— The Good Housekeeping Marriage Book • Various

... history have here been preserved. Traces of three different versions of the crossing of the Jordan may still, in their judgment, be found in the third and fourth chapters of the book of Joshua. The latest and most familiar narrative represents the crossing as a superlative miracle and the waters of the rushing river as piled up like a wall on either side. The Northern Israelite version appears to have stated that the waters of the Jordan were dried up, implying that the Hebrews crossed during the late summer when the river was ...
— The Making of a Nation - The Beginnings of Israel's History • Charles Foster Kent and Jeremiah Whipple Jenks

... to bring all our faculties into the service of the spiritual life, is the ground of Christian virtue just as it is of every natural excellence. From this it follows that the distinction sometimes made between natural goodness and Christian goodness is unsound. A virtue is not a superlative act of merit, implying an excess of excellence beyond the requirements of duty. From the Christian standpoint there are no works of supererogation, and there is no room in the Christian life for excess or margin. As every duty is a bounden duty, so every possible excellence ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... as well as by Eastern politicians. Yuan Shih-kai, still pretending to stand aside, had kept his attention concentrated on this very essential matter; for, as we have repeatedly pointed out, he never failed to understand the superlative value of foreign support in all his enterprises,—that support being given an exaggerated value by the public thanks to China's reliance on foreign money. Accordingly, as if still unconvinced, he now very naively requested ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... last an evening alone with her again. It seems as if Wanda had saved up all the love, which had been kept from her, for this superlative evening; never had she been so kind, so near, so full ...
— Venus in Furs • Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

... Pilgrim has lost his Note-book, and has been persuaded to offer a reward which shall maintain the happy finder thereof in an asylum for life. Benson—superlative Benson—has turned his shoulders upon Raynham. None know whither he has departed. It is believed that the sole surviving member of the sect of the Shaddock-Dogmatists is under ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... transparent medium through which the qualities of objects, the reflections of phenomena, the vibrations of aboriginal power, pass in blessed freedom, without deflection or jar, and on which the mysterious attraction of the Infinite exerts its supreme spell. To be there in a superlative degree is to have a mind which is an infinitesimal mirror of the All, and a heart responsive to that mind, every perception of truth in the realm of the intellect generating a correspondent emotion of good in the realm of affection. ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... situation had its charm for the romantic Irish strain in her blood. The prospect of securing both entertainment and mystery at the modest expenditure of fifteen dollars a week impressed her as very good business, for she combined in the superlative degree the opposite qualities of romance and economy. To be sure, except for the advertisement she afforded and the gossip she provided, young Mrs. Fowler might not prove to be worth even her modest salary; but there was, on the other hand, a remote possibility ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... in such a station that they can give away much, and can only receive very little and quite inadequate returns for what they give. I have spoken of kings and princes, who alone can cause works to be accomplished, and whose superlative power depends upon the obedience and services of inferiors; but some there are, free from all earthly lusts, who are scarcely affected by any human objects of desire, upon whom fortune herself could bestow nothing. I must be worsted in a contest of benefits with Socrates, or with Diogenes, ...
— L. Annaeus Seneca On Benefits • Seneca

... possess the unparalleled power not merely of disentangling in retrospect, but of unravelling in prospect, and I have known him to relate coming events with unimaginable minuteness of precision. He was nothing if not superlative: his diatribes, now culminating in a very extravaganza of hyperbole—now sailing with loose wing through the downy, witched, Dutch cloud-heaps of some quaintest tramontane Nephelococcugia of thought—now laying down law of the Medes for the actual ...
— Prince Zaleski • M.P. Shiel

... superlative praise of the good time they had had, and with renewed thanks for the privilege, began to bid Fred, the Master of Ceremonies, good-night. Soon only the costumed members, with Richard and Nathan, were left. So far from being tired out with the night's diversion, ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... What! do you call this 'loving the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and all your mind,—and your neighbour as yourself'? Whereas in truth you love nothing, not even your own soul; but only set a superlative value on whatever will gratify your selfish lust of enjoyment, and insure you from hell-fire at a thousand times the true value of the dirty property. If you have the impudence to persevere in mis-naming this "love," supply any one instance ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... merit of the hymn of Cleanthes to Jupiter, which you ascribe to it. It is as highly sublime as a chaste and correct imagination can permit itself to go. Yet in the contemplation of a being so superlative, the hyperbolic flights of the Psalmist may often be followed with approbation, even with rapture; and I have no hesitation in giving him the palm over all the hymnists of every language, and of every time. Turn ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... were matters of history. But the President of the nation to whose unbounded generosity and altruism the world owes a debt of gratitude that can only be acknowledged, not repaid, deservedly enjoyed a superlative measure of respect from his foreign colleagues, and the author of the project which was to link all nations together by ties of moral kinship was literally idolized by the masses. Never has it fallen to my lot to see any mortal so enthusiastically, ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... have been able to delight in the landscape but for the good corporal, who was afraid to allow us even a little enjoyment of life. Later the artillery came up with a tremendous din and showed us the use of these superlative precautions. ...
— Letters of a Soldier - 1914-1915 • Anonymous

... Spangenberg found ranging there many hunters, living like Indians, who killed thousands of deer each year and sold the skins in the local markets or to the fur-traders from Virginia whose heavy pack-trains with their tinkling bells constantly traversed the course of the Great Trading Path. The superlative skill of one of these hunters, both as woodsman and marksman, was proverbial along the border. The name of Daniel Boone became synonymous with expert huntsmanship and almost uncanny wisdom in forest ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... superlative of the miserable, past the facade of the hotel, when someone sprang out of a cab and spoke to her. And it ...
— Tales of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... she breathed deeply in relief. "I knew you wouldn't fail me. Look at that field, Phares—oh, this is a perfect day! There should be a superlative form of perfect for a day like this! Those fields have as many colors as the shades reflected on a copper plate: lilac, tan, ...
— Patchwork - A Story of 'The Plain People' • Anna Balmer Myers

... possessed sex magnetism in a superlative degree in spite of her deliberate aloofness, Clavering had, of course, been conscious from the first. Had not every male first-nighter been conscious of it? There was a surfeit of beauty in New York. A stranger, even if invested with mystery, must ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... from the lips of the two ladies had the merit of being perfect of its kind—softly insinuating and sweetly censorious, superlative in eulogy and infallible in opinion. The good visitors most conscientiously discharged what they deemed a great moral and social duty by enlightening the Lady de Tilly on all the recent lapses and secrets of the capital. They slid over slippery topics ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... Stow, "is so called not of sweetness thereof, being very narrow and small and dark, but rather of often washing and sweeping to keep it clean." With all due respect to Stow, we suspect that the lane did not derive its name from any superlative cleanliness, but more probably from honey being sold here in the times before sugar became common and honey alone was used ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... Sciences." Although the primeval forest has departed from its immediate vicinity, the region is still sylvan, the air is sweet and strong and almost alpine in quality, and the mountain panorama spread before one is superlative. Davidson showed a business faculty which I should hardly have expected from him, in organizing his settlement. He built a number of cottages pretty in design and of the simplest construction, and disposed them well for effect. He turned a couple ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... than expose it; he improved upon, and enlarged, it and made it a thing of magnitude; he and others of his quality discarded petty larceny and ascended into a sphere of superlative grand larceny. They knew with a cynical perception that society, with all its pompous pretensions to morality, had evolved a rule which worked with almost mathematical certainty. This rule was the paradoxical, but nevertheless true, one that the greater the theft ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... camp-fires upon the probable prospects of the next day. It was a question with them whether I should continue the march. Mostly all were of opinion that, since the master was sick, there would be no march. A superlative obstinacy, however, impelled me on, merely to spite their supine souls; but when I sallied out of my tent to call them to get ready, I found that at least twenty were missing; and Livingstone's letter-carrier, "Kaif-Halek"—or, ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... appetites as might be left to them. The strained excitement which marks this pleasing production could not be maintained; but Edwards never shrank in cold blood from the most appalling consequences of his theories. He tells us, with superlative coolness, that the 'bulk of mankind do throng' to hell (vii. 226). He sentences infants to hell remorselessly. The imagination, he admits, may be relieved by the hypothesis that infants suffer only in this world, instead of being doomed to eternal misery. 'But it does ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... one exquisite sunset—one of those superlative sunsets that burn themselves into the consciousness with a joy akin to pain, and of which only a few are allotted to each human life. I stood watching the sinking sun throw a crimson net over the snow mountains as the shadow of night crept slowly up ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... excellence is in the third line, which is crack'd in the middle to express a crack, and then shivers into monosyllables. Yet has this diamond lain neglected with common stones, and among the innumerable admirers of Hudibras the observation of this superlative passage has been reserved for the sagacity ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... picture-gazing this morning at the famous Domenichino and Guido, both of which are superlative. I afterwards went to the beautiful cemetery of Bologna, beyond the walls, and found, besides the superb burial-ground, an original of a Custode, who reminded one of the grave-digger in Hamlet. He has a collection ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... shall we call it my mad mood. Not only did I enjoy the supper, which was most agreeable, but far more the conversation. Among the topics discussed, what gave me most delight was to hear your name mentioned by the Captain; nor was this all, for he still added to my pleasure, nay, to a superlative degree, by saying that, in the art of painting he held you to be sole and without peer in the whole world, and that so you were esteemed at Rome. I could not have been better pleased. You see that my judgment is confirmed; and so you must not deny that you are peerless, when I write it, ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... personages. They sat very carelessly in their chairs, and were too excellent themselves to value any condition at a high rate.—I could better eat with one who did not respect the truth or the laws than with a sloven and unpresentable person.—The person who screams, or uses the superlative degree, or converses with heat, puts whole drawing-rooms to flight.—I esteem it a chief felicity of this country that it excels ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... back panting. Then she controlled herself and began to put on garment after garment, jewel after jewel, all of superlative magnificence. Every moment she glided to the great mirror; as often she tore off a garment or a jewel, flung it down impatiently, and seized others from her boundless store. At last she stood clad like a fabled daughter of old Bagdad; a robe of shimmering silk reached her ankles, ...
— The Pirate Woman • Aylward Edward Dingle

... the past, our modern science soars, and our journals serve—but ideal and even ordinary romantic literature, does not, I think, substantially advance. Behold the prolific brood of the contemporary novel, magazine-tale, theatre-play, &c. The same endless thread of tangled and superlative love-story, inherited, apparently from the Amadises and Palmerins of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries over there in Europe. The costumes and associations brought down to date, the seasoning hotter and more varied, the dragons and ogres ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... a pleasant one. Did one wicker basket equal so many fine products of superlative technology? Apparently it did. The natives had different values. To them, one pair of goggles was worth more than three carbines, a package of needles easily the equivalent ...
— Bolden's Pets • F. L. Wallace

... in the syllable -lyche form the comparative in -loker and the superlative in -lokest; as, positive uglyche ( ugly), comp. ugloker, superl. uglokest. The long vowel of the positive is often shortened in the comp. and superl., as in the ...
— Early English Alliterative Poems - in the West-Midland Dialect of the Fourteenth Century • Various

... satisfaction for a time of claiming the tallest structure in the world; and now that the new Tower of Babel which has sprung up in Paris has killed that pretention, I think we shall feel and speak more modestly about our stone hyperbole, our materialization of the American love of the superlative. We have the higher civilization among us, and we must try to keep down the forth-putting instincts of the lower. We do not want to see our national monument placarded as "the greatest show on earth,"—perhaps it is well that it is taken down ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... contrived to pick quarrels with the very class of men whom it was his special interest to conciliate, and had been driven to set up an opposition serial of his own—the celebrated "Table Book"—which, notwithstanding the superlative excellence of his own illustrations and the talent of his literary contributors, comprising such names as John Oxenford, Horace Mayhew, Shirley Brooks, Mark Lemon, W. M. Thackeray, and others, could not manage to prolong its existence beyond its first volume. In matters connected ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... and ears and sense of the dear one to whom they are sent, is very sweet;—but for the girl who has made a shirt for the man that she loves, there has come a moment in the last stitch of it, sweeter than any that stars, haycocks, poetry, or superlative epithets have produced. Nora Rowley had never as yet been thus useful on behalf of Hugh Stanbury. Had she done so, she might perhaps have been happier even than she was during this journey;—but, without the shirt, it was one of the happiest moments ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... expresses the superlative when used with other signs; with coward it denotes a base coward; with hunger, starvation; and with sorrow, bitter sorrow. I have not seen it used with the sign for pleasure or that of hunger, nor can I learn that it ...
— Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples And Deaf-Mutes • Garrick Mallery

... And I'm bound to say, I regard your claim to the possession of good taste as completely established.... 'Ware the horse, there! Look out! look out!" His eyes had followed the tall figure of the Mother-Superior, moving with the superlative grace and ease that comes of perfect physical proportion, carrying the black nun's robes, wearing the flowing veil of the nun with the dignity of an ideal queen. And the next instant, his charger, held with some others by a mounted orderly before the gates, and ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... rather in spirits than otherwise; and lodged pleasantly with Abbot Tobias and him, till the Campaign should begin. Two things surprise Valori: first, the great strength, impregnable as it were, to which Neisse has been brought since he saw it last,—superlative condition of that Fortress, and of the Army itself, as it gathers daily more and more about Frankenstein here:—and then secondly, and contrariwise, the strangely neglected posture of mountainous or Upper Silesia, given up to Pandours. Quite submerged, in a manner: Margraf Karl lies quiet among ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... democrat had, of course, another political duty besides that of securing the election of himself and his friends. His political system was designed, not merely to deprive him of grievances, but to offer him superlative opportunities. In taking the utmost advantage of those opportunities, he was not only fulfilling his duty to himself, but he was helping to realize the substantial purpose of democracy. Just as it was the function of the national ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... solely with the man who orders and pays for his labor, with a public which frequently follows only certain morbid impressions, with connoisseurs who make him restless, with auctioneers who receive every new work with praise and estimates of value such as would fitly honor the most superlative production. ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... may be helped a little forwarder on the path towards realization. One comes back to the before-mentioned analogy of flying. We had been assured over and over again, on the highest authority, that it was an idle dream. When we wanted to express the superlative degree of the impossible, we said "I can no more do it than I can fly." But the irrepressible spirit of man was not to be daunted by a priori demonstrations of impossibility. One day there came the rumour that the thing ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... distinct surprise to the first explorers of America that the natives used the bow and arrow so effectively. In fact, the sword and the horse, combined with the white man's superlative self-assurance, won the contest over the aborigines more than the primitive blunderbuss of the times. The bow and arrow was still more deadly ...
— Hunting with the Bow and Arrow • Saxton Pope

... have proudly bidden defiance to the storms and blasts of half a thousand winters, and there still stand the gnarled old trees which have gently swayed to and fro while many a baron has ruled the Hall, and whose leaves after growing in superlative beauty, seeming to partake in the grandeur and pride of the "King of the Peak," have drooped and fallen, after having made, with their rich autumnal tints, a succession of beautiful living pictures ...
— Heiress of Haddon • William E. Doubleday

... would have been greater had he lived earlier, Fielding had he lived later. But one cannot imagine Pope thriving in any other air or producing equal work under different influences. The qualities most esteemed by his contemporaries he possessed in a superlative degree; his limitations were common to the society in which he moved, and neither he nor it was conscious of them as such; consequently, what would have been impediments to a different nature were to his means of free and spontaneous action. And not only does he represent the ideas ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, September 1880 • Various

... ordinary death, as opposed to death by violence, saevitia principis.—Promptissimus quisque. The ablest, or all the ablest. Quisque with a superlative, whether singular or plural, is in general equivalent to omnes with the positive, with the additional idea however of a reciprocal comparison among the persons denoted ...
— Germania and Agricola • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... appreciably superior to most of the incidental quips. Pseudolus generously compliments Charinus on beating him at his own game of repartee (743). When Weise (Die Komodien des Plautus, p. 181) describes Ps. IV. 7 as "eine der ausgezeichnetsten Scenen, die es irgend giebt," his superlative finds a ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • William Wallace Blancke

... signs of altruism are visible in Greece. There are few Germanophiles. "Do not fear for us," said M. Kalogeropoulos, to the French. "Greece will not ally herself to a corpse"—meaning Germany. In fact, there is among the Greeks only Graecophilism. If superlative and clamorous love of country is a virtue—they have it. For Greece, when you are down, you are down. As for fallen Germany, so for Russia in her humiliation Greece has no extra thought or care. Not a ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... as if in great surprise, and the gentleman addressed, turning round, exhibited a suit of clothes of the most superlative cut, a pair of whiskers of similar quality, a moustache, a head of ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... opulent, diffusing colour like a sunset, indifferent to their story or meaning, happy and content with the flaming feast outspread for our enjoyment. We stand before his Entombment at the Louvre, dumb before its superlative painting, with hardly a thought for the tragedy that it represents. Titian accepts the literary motive, and the artist in him straight forgets it. We walk from The Entombment to the little chamber where Rembrandt's Christ at Emmaus hangs, ...
— Rembrandt • Mortimer Menpes

... the Man without a Navel, because, not being born of woman, there could be no umbilical cord to cut. The thought goes deep. In addition to the mythico theological pictures of the mechanical creation and superlative condition of the first man, two forms of statement have been advanced by thoughtful students of nature. One is the theory of chronological progressive development; the other is the ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... Continental life more congenial to him, and he had chosen early to enter a financial house which took him to the East and Constantinople. He was about twenty-seven years old at this period and was considered by himself and a number of women to be a creature of superlative charm. ...
— The Price of Things • Elinor Glyn

... place of no one else is worth disputing. Lloyd George is the consummate politician, limited by the meanness of his art. Clemenceau is the personification of nationality, limited by the narrowness of his view. Mr. Wilson alone had his hour of superlative greatness when the whole earth listened to him and followed him; an hour which ended with him only dimly aware of his vision and furiously conscious ...
— The Mirrors of Washington • Anonymous

... nothing of self-reliance. All she knew was to be a consequential young lady of distinction, full of exalted qualifying adjectives in the superlative degree. But she was not so much to blame as her parents for her simpering and tossing the head with overstocked affectation. She was to be pitied for her unfortunate surroundings. Her "splendid man," a "beautiful gentleman," was a coarse, ...
— A Woman's Life-Work - Labors and Experiences • Laura S. Haviland

... it is remembered how great are the interests entrusted to the care of this board, and of these secretaries and of that chief clerk, it must be admitted that nothing short of superlative excellence ought to suffice the nation. All material intercourse between man and man must be regulated, either justly or unjustly, by weights and measures; and as we of all people depend most on such material intercourse, our weights and measures should to us be a source ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope



Words linked to "Superlative" :   best, stage, point, congratulations, nearest, degree, superior, summit, sterling, fewest, most, kudos, adverb, closest, nighest, praise, least, adjective, worst, level, extolment



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