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I saw an article on yahoo yesterday and thought I'd ask, is "hugest" a real word? I assume whoever wrote the article understands what they are trying to say, but it just seems wrong and foreign to my brain. I would have figured "largest" is much more appealing of an adjective.

http://www.wired.com/2016/04/worlds-hugest-jet-engine-wider-737s-fuselage/

So basically, is using huge with the suffix "est" correct in all manners, except for the fact it sounds strange?

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  • It does sound strange, I'll grant you that. There aren't really any other one-syllable adjectives or adverbs that rhyme with huge that we can compare it with, either. – tchrist Apr 29 '16 at 12:55
  • I'd never use it in a sentence, and it strikes me as odd that someone writing an article for a large publication would when "largest" is much easier. But, I guess, attention grabbing, isn't it? – Rayray Apr 29 '16 at 13:08
  • Did you understand what it means? If so, it is a "real word". – GEdgar Apr 29 '16 at 14:43
  • I do understand what it means, (thanks to Lawrence in the answer) what I was trying to ask was if it was acceptable to add "est" to the word, if it was an absolute adjective. – Rayray Apr 29 '16 at 15:05
  • Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. (In other words, did you look in a dictionary??) – Hot Licks Apr 29 '16 at 22:44
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Yes, huge sounds like an absolute adjective, but the following dictionary entry explicitly allows both comparative and superlative forms for huge:

Huge adjective (huger, hugest) 1 Extremely large; enormous - ODO

This Ngram comparing huge/hugest with large/largest appears to show that the relative usage of the respective superlative forms are roughly proportional. But in reality, as Peter Shor notes with a much clearer Ngram, the usage of hugest vs huge is tiny compared with the usage of largest vs large.

This confirms the subjective assessment that hugest isn't used much. Here's an Ngram comparing hugest with an antonym of sorts, pyknic (short and fat), and ventripotent (big-bellied) showing that there are indeed real words that are currently less used than hugest.

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    "The Ngram comparing huge/hugest with large/largest shows ..." No it doesn't. Here is the right Ngram to look at. "largest/large" is more than 10%. "hugest/huge" has never been more than around half a percent, and is much less nowadays. But I agree in that I would definitely say hugest is grammatical ... it's used more than many things that are clearly words. – Peter Shor Apr 29 '16 at 13:59
  • @PeterShor Thanks - that's a very useful way of expressing the statistics! I'll update my answer. – Lawrence Apr 29 '16 at 14:09
  • Fantastic answer. Thank you. I'm glad you threw in the absolute adjective, that what I was asking but couldn't find the right way to ask! – Rayray Apr 29 '16 at 15:04
  • @Rayray You're welcome. Glad you liked it :) . – Lawrence Apr 29 '16 at 15:10
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yep it's a real word. Check out those examples: http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=hugest

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