From Academic Kids

The word super has several meanings:



First known as a prefix, meaning "above", "beyond", "on top", "besides", super- has a long history in the English language and has since evolved into a useful adjective and expletive as well.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the use of super- evolved as follows:

A certain number of important Latin compounds, chiefly verbs, belong to the classical period, but the great majority are of later date, and many are recorded first from Christian writing. As a living prefix in English super- first appears about the middle of the 15th c.; it became frequent in Elizabethan times, and the 17th c. it was very widely used. In more recent times, it has been extensively introduced into the nomenclature of chemistry and other sciences as a correlation to sub-.

Words with "super" as a prefix include:


In Australia and New Zealand, as well as in continental Europe, Super was the name for a number of years commonly given to leaded high octane petrol (gasoline). Originally the name denoted premium leaded petrol, as opposed to Standard, which was non-premium leaded petrol. However, with the introduction of unleaded petrol in the early 1980s, Standard petrol was discontinued, leaving only Super, which then became a synonym for leaded petrol in general. This continued until the late 1990s, when leaded petrol began to be eliminated in favour of various different blends of unleaded petrol contain special additives for use with leaded vehicles. The name of these blends varies from oil company to oil company.

Building superintendent

In the United States, the word super is common shorthand for a building superintendent, an employee of the landlord who usually lives on-premises and handles minor repairs. See janitor for more on these duties. The super may also accept deliveries for tenants, and represent the landlord to prospective renters.

The word is also used for the superintendent of a dramatic production.


In beekeeping, a super is a portion of the hive where honey is made but where there is no brood.


The hydrogen bomb (see fusion nuclear weapons) was often called The Super by its developers.


As an all-purpose adjective super was one of the characteristic words of "swinging London" in the 1960s and 1970s, replacing fab and gear from the early 60s, but its history in the language is much older.

George Bernard Shaw used the prefix in his play Man and Superman, as did Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in naming their comic star, Superman, who has given the prefix to the whole genre of superheroes.

The Nietzschean concept of the ‹bermensch is often translated as "superman".

Programming languages

In several object oriented programming languages including C# and Java, the keyword super invokes the superclass or parent in the inheritance hierarchy of a particular object.



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