a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, with the basic meaning “above, beyond.” Words formed with super-, have the following general senses: “to place or be placed above or over” (superimpose; supersede ), “a thing placed over or added to another” (superscript; superstructure; supertax ), “situated over” (superficial; superlunary ) and, more figuratively, “an individual, thing, or property that exceeds customary norms or levels” (superalloy; superconductivity; superman; superstar ), “an individual or thing larger, more powerful, or with wider application than others of its kind” (supercomputer; superhighway; superpower; supertanker ), “exceeding the norms or limits of a given class” (superhuman; superplastic ), “having the specified property to a great or excessive degree” (supercritical; superfine; supersensitive ), “to subject to (a physical process) to an extreme degree or in an unusual way” (supercharge; supercool; supersaturate ), “a category that embraces a number of lesser items of the specified kind” (superfamily; supergalaxy ), “a chemical compound with a higher proportion than usual of a given constituent” (superphosphate ).

< Latin super (preposition and v. prefix) above, beyond, in addition, to an especially high degree; akin to Greek hypér (see hyper-), Sanskrit upari; see over Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  placed above or over: superscript
2.  of greater size, extent, quality, etc: supermarket
3.  surpassing others; outstanding: superstar
4.  beyond a standard or norm; exceeding or exceedingly: supersonic
5.  indicating that a chemical compound contains a specified element in a higher proportion than usual: superoxide
[from Latin super above]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

from L. adverb and preposition super "above, over, on the top (of), beyond, besides, in addition to," from PIE base *uper "over" (cf. Skt. upari, Avestan upairi "over, above, beyond," Gk. hyper, O.E. ofer "over," Goth. ufaro "over, across," Gaul. ver-, O.Ir. for), comparative of base *upo "under."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

super- pref.

  1. Above; over; upon: superstructure.

  2. Superior in size, quality, number, or degree: supersonic.

  3. Exceeding a norm: supersaturate.

  4. Excessive in degree or intensity: superexcitation.

  5. Containing a specified ingredient in an unusually high proportion: superoxide.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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