I'm trying to think of the word that is used to describe someone who always uses words that mean the most or least of a trait (like best, worst, fastest, slowest, brightest, smartest, etc. etc.). I thought there was a word to describe this category of adjectives, but I can't think of it! Thanks!

  • 3
    Are you thinking of superlatives, perhaps? – Hellion Feb 9 '17 at 20:00
  • The examples given are all superlatives, but that's because they have a superlative morpheme (-st) attached to their end. Superlatives are one type of Polar predicates, which, like comparison, can only take place when there is a continuous scale of characteristics, like boiling - hot - warm - tepid - cool - cold - freezing. In this scale, the endpoints (or "poles") boiling and freezing are the polar predicates in the list. They have interesting semantics; for instance, only polar predicates can be modified by absolute(ly): absolutely freezing/boiling/ but *absolutely hot/cold. – John Lawler Feb 9 '17 at 20:44

The category of adjectives is superlatives, after positive and comparative.

Overuse of such words, leading to sensationalisation, may be hyperbole.

Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


It was the best day ever!
Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate...™
There were millions of them!

The statements are hyperbolic.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.