I just learned the comparison for adjectives. Most adjectives have regular conjugations (every case/grammatical gender has its own output). But I learned a few irregular adjectives as well (all in masculinum):

  • bonus, melior, optimus (good, better, best)
  • malus, peior, pessimus (bad, worse, worst)
  • magnus, maior, maximus (big, bigger, biggest)
  • parvus, minor, minimus (small, smaller, smallest)
  • multi, plures, plurimi (much, more, most)

Am I missing any irregular adjectives, or have I learned all the irregular adjectives already?


2 Answers 2


Let me mention some things to complement your and TKR's lists.

First, the adjectives iuvenis and senex have the irregular comparatives iunior and senior. These comparatives are rarely (if ever) used in neuter. Neither adjective has a superlative. For senex, the superlative can be replaced by that of vetustus (vetustissimus). For vetus, comparatives and superlatives are often taken from vetustus. I do not know how the missing superlative of iuvenis is typically replaced.

Some adjectives ending in -dicus, -ficus and -volus form comparative an superlative from -dicent-, -ficent- and -volent-. For example:

  • maledicus, maledicentior, maledicentissimus
  • magnificus, magnificentior, magnificentissimus
  • benevolus, benevolentior, benevolentissimus

For adjectives ending in -eus, -ius or -uus (not -quus) use magis or maxime to form comparative and superlative. For example, magis/maxime idoneus instead of idoneior/idoneissimus.

There are adjectives coming from prepositions that only have comparative and superlative but no positive. These are prior/primus, posterior/postremus, superior/summus/supremus, inferior/infimus/imus, exterior/extremus, interior/intimus, citerior/citimus, ulterior/ultimus and propior/proximus.

For adjectives ending in -er, the superlative is formed with -rimus. For example:

  • pulcher, pulchrior, pulcherrimus
  • liber, liberior, liberrimus
  • acer, acrior, acerrimus

The superlative veterrimus also has this ending.

Similarly, these six adjectives ending in -ilis form the superlative with -limus: difficilis, dissimilis, facilis, gracilis, humilis, similis. For example, dissimilis, dissimilior, dissimillimus.


Allen and Greenough list three more, but they are rare:

  • nequam, nequior, nequissimus "worthless"
  • frugi, frugalior, frugalissimus "useful"
  • dexter, dexterior, dextimus "on the right, handy"
  • 1
    This is interesting. My Latin grammar (a Finnish one) does not mention these adjectives at all. My dictionary gives the adjective frugalis (for which frugalior and frugalissimus are regular), so one might also argue that frugi has no comparative or superlative at all. Nevertheless, those three adjectives you list are useful to keep in mind, including the peculiar comparison.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 19:37

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