8

I have seen usage of both super and superb.
I also searched for meaning of these two words and found they are almost identical.

Example sentences -

  1. She is a super girl.
  2. His performance in the last game was superb.

Use of any of those two words doesn't change the meaning of those above sentences either.
Need suggestion of proper usage of these two words. When to use and why?

  • 8
    Etymologically, super comes from the Latin preposition meaning over, above, atop and superb comes from the Latin adjective superbus meaning grand, proud; haughty, supercilious. The latter obviously comes from the former. In English, super tends to be a general intensifier and superb an adjective denoting high quality. – Anonym Aug 10 '14 at 1:16
  • Are you serious? Why don't they call the character Superbman, rather than Superman. Environmental disaster superfund vs superbfund. – Blessed Geek Aug 10 '14 at 7:05
  • Note that it would be perfectly normal to say "she is a superb girl" or "his performance was super!" – Fattie Aug 10 '14 at 9:15
  • @BlessedGeek exactly! That's also my question. If you have an answer why don't you post? – aniskhan001 Aug 10 '14 at 9:23
4

Superb refers to excellence (the best) whereas super refers to something above normal, like size or effort, but not necessarily something excellent.

So super man is not by definition a superb man.

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