Words like "totally", "completely", "all", "entirely, "no" etc. These group of words point to the extremes. Do we have a term for these group of words?


The term for these words is "absolute adverbs". This page from education.com contains the following explanation:

Absolute adverbs—words like all, every, completely, and entirely—already refer to everything possible, and therefore cannot be intensified any further.


su·per·la·tive (s-pûrl-tv) 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.
  4. Something of the highest possible excellence.
  5. The highest degree; the acme.
  6. 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.
  • A superlative has a subtle difference from absolute adverbs. However, this is still useful. – Joyce Sep 15 '13 at 8:08
  • If saying "She is so totally wrong" is absolute, what would be "She is so totally totally completely wrong"? – Blessed Geek Sep 15 '13 at 8:48
  • @BlessedGeek: redundant. – cas Sep 15 '13 at 8:58
  • Would both phrases express the same level of intensity? The answer should be "yes", if one of them has redundancy. – Blessed Geek Sep 15 '13 at 9:59

Does the word intensifiers aptly describe these words? That's my answer by the way

  • 1
    First, this is a very short answer. Here are normally encouraged longer answers which give not just the "answer" but also an explanation and provide references to additional material. Secondly, this isn't even a complete answer, because you have said the OP can use "intensifiers" but haven't explained why? – user51029 Sep 15 '13 at 9:57
  • You should provide some references and be sure about your answer. – Benyamin Hamidekhoo Sep 15 '13 at 11:04
  • Advice heeded. Will be more proper next time. – Stephen Antwi Sep 15 '13 at 11:18

The words are signal words for the signpost, Extreme Language or Absolute Language.

  • 3
    Hi @Kat, Please cite appropriate references which back up your answer. Also, briefly defining the Extreme/Absolute Language concepts will improve the quality of your response. – freeling10 Feb 1 '17 at 0:50

protected by MetaEd Aug 17 '18 at 18:34

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