superhighway (n.)
1921, from super- + highway.
superhuman (adj.)
1630s, from Medieval Latin superhumanus; see super- + human (adj.). In early use often "divine," since 19c. typically "above the powers or nature of man." Related: Superhumanly.
superimpose (v.)
1787, back-formation from superimposition (1680s), or from super- + impose. Compare Latin superimponere "to put upon, place over, place above." Related: Superimposed; superimposing.
superintend (v.)
"to have charge and direction of," 1610s, from Church Latin superintendere "to oversee" (see superintendent). Related: Superintended; superintending.
superintendence (n.)
"act of superintending," c.1600; from superintendent + -ce, or from Latin superintendens. Related: Superintendency.
superintendent (n.)
1550s, originally an ecclesiastical word meaning "bishop" or "minister who supervises churches within a district" (ultimately a loan-translation of Greek episkopos "overseer"), from Medieval Latin superintendentem (nominative superintendens), present participle of Late Latin superintendere "oversee," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + intendere "turn one's attention to, direct" (see intend). Famously used by 16c. radical Protestants in place of bishop, which to them was tainted by Papacy.
[Martinists] studie to pull downe Bishopps, and set vp Superintendents, which is nothing else, but to raze out good Greeke, & enterline bad Latine. [Lyly, "Pappe with an Hatchet," 1589]
The general sense of "a person who has charge of some business" is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "janitor, custodian" is from c.1935. Shortened form super first attested 1857, especially at first of overseers of sheep ranches in Australia. As an adjective meaning "superintending," from 1590s.
superior (adj.)
late 14c., "higher in position," from Old French superior "higher, upper" (Modern French superieur), from Latin superiorem (nominative superior) "higher," comparative of superus "situated above, upper," from super "above, over" (see super-).

Meaning "higher in rank or dignity" is attested from late 15c.; sense of "of a higher nature or character" is attested from 1530s. Original sense was preserved more strongly in French (as in les étages supérieur "the upper stories"), and in Lake Superior, a loan-translation of French Lac Supérieur, literally "upper lake" (at 600 feet above sea-level it has the highest surface elevation of the five Great Lakes and is the furthest north).
superior (n.)
early 15c., from Latin superior (see superior (adj.)), used in Medieval Latin with a noun sense of "one higher, a superior."
superiority (n.)
late 15c., from superior (adj.) + -ity, or directly from Medieval Latin superioritatem (nominative superioritas), from superior.
superlative (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French superlatif "absolute, highest; powerful; best" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin superlativus "extravagant, exaggerated, hyperbolic," from Latin superlatus "exaggerated" (used as past participle of superferre "carry over or beyond"), from super "beyond" (see super-) + lat- "carry," from *tlat-, past participle stem of tollere "to take away" (see extol). Related: Superlatively; superlativeness.

The noun is attested from 1520s, originally in the grammatical sense, "a word in the superlative;" hence "exaggerated language" (1590s).
superman (n.)
1903, coined by George Bernard Shaw to translate German Übermensch, "highly evolved human being that transcends good and evil," from "Thus Spake Zarathustra" (1883-91), by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). First used in German by Hermann Rab (1520s), and also used by Herder and Goethe. Translated as overman (1895) and beyond-man (1896) before Shaw got it right in his play title "Man and Superman" (1903). Application to comic strip hero is from 1938.
So was created ... Superman! champion of the oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need! ["Action Comics," June 1, 1938]
supermarket (n.)
1933, American English, from super- + market (n.). The 1933 reference is in an article that says the stores themselves began to open around 1931.
supermodel (n.)
1978, from super- + model (n.).
supernal (adj.)
mid-15c., "heavenly, divine," from Old French supernal "supreme" (12c.), formed from Latin supernus "situated above, that is above; celestial" (from super "above, over;" see super-) as a contrast to infernal.
supernatant (adj.)
"floating on the surface," 1660s, from Latin supernatantem (nominative supernatans), present participle of supernatare "to swim above," from super (see super-) + natare "to swim," frequentative of nare "to swim" (see natatorium). Related: Supernatation (1620s).
supernatural (adj.)
early 15c. "of or given by God," from Medieval Latin supernaturalis "above or beyond nature, divine," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + natura "nature" (see nature (n.)). Originally with more of a religious sense, "of or given by God, divine; heavenly;" association with ghosts, etc., has predominated since 19c. Related: Supernaturalism.
That is supernatural, whatever it be, that is either not in the chain of natural cause and effect, or which acts on the chain of cause and effect, in nature, from without the chain. [Horace Bushnell, "Nature and the Supernatural," 1858]
supernatural (n.)
1729, "a supernatural being," from supernatural (adj.). From 1830 as "that which is above or beyond the established course of nature."
supernaturally (adv.)
c.1500, "from God or Heaven," from supernatural (adj.) + -ly (2).
supernova (n.)
1934, from super- + nova.
supernumerary (adj.)
"exceeding a stated number," c.1600, from Late Latin supernumarius "excess, counted in over" (of soldiers added to a full legion), from Latin super numerum "beyond the number," from super "beyond, over" (see super-) + numerum, accusative of numerus "number" (see number (n.)). As a noun from 1630s.
superordinate (adj.)
1610s, on model of subordinate with super-. Related: Superordination.
superpose (v.)
1823, from French superposer, from super- (see super-) + poser (see pose (v.1)). Related: Superposed; superposing.
superposition (n.)
1650s, from French superposition, from Late Latin superpositionem (nominative superpositio) "a placing over," noun of action from past participle stem of superponere "to place over," from super (see super-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position (n.)).
superpower (n.)
1944, in geopolitical sense of "nation with great interest and ability to exert force in worldwide theaters of conflict," from super- + power (n.). The word itself is attested in physical (electrical power) senses from 1922.
supersaturated (adj.)
1778, past participle adjective from verb supersaturate (1756), from super- + saturate (v.).
supersaturation (n.)
1784, from super- + saturation.
superscribe (v.)
"write on the surface" (especially of an envelope), 1590s, from Latin superscribere "write over or above" (see superscript). Related: Superscribed; superscribing.
superscript (n.)
1580s, "address or direction on a letter," from Middle French superscript, from Latin superscriptus "written above," past participle of superscribere "write over or above something (as a correction)," from super "above" (see super-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)). Meaning "number or letter written above something" first recorded 1901.
superscription (n.)
late 14c., from Latin superscriptionem (nominative superscriptio) "a writing above," noun of action from past participle stem of superscribere (see superscript).
supersede (v.)
mid-15c., Scottish, "postpone, defer," from Middle French superceder "desist, delay, defer," from Latin supersedere literally "sit on top of;" also, with ablative, "stay clear of, abstain from, forbear, refrain from," from super "above" (see super-) + sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). Meaning "displace, replace" first recorded 1640s. Related: Superseded; superseding.
supersedeas (n.)
writ to stay legal proceedings, Latin, literally "you shall desist," second person singular present subjunctive of supersedere "desist, refrain from, forebear" (see supersede).
supersession (n.)
1650s, from Medieval Latin supersessionem (nominative supersessio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin supersedere "sit on top of" (see supersede).
supersonic (adj.)
1919, "of or having to do with sound waves beyond the limit of human hearing," from super- + sonic. Attested from 1934 in sense of "exceeding the speed of sound" (especially as a measure of aircraft speed), leaving the original sense to ultrasonic (1923).
superstar (n.)
1920, in the sports and entertainment sense (Babe Ruth was one of the first so-called), from super- + star (n.).
superstition (n.)
early 13c., "false religious belief; irrational faith in supernatural powers," from Latin superstitionem (nominative superstitio) "prophecy, soothsaying; dread of the supernatural, excessive fear of the gods, religious belief based on fear or ignorance and considered incompatible with truth or reason," literally "a standing over," noun of action from past participle stem of superstare "stand on or over; survive," from super "above" (see super-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). There are many theories to explain the Latin sense developmen, but none has yet been generally accepted. (see superstitious). Originally especially of religion; sense of "unreasonable notion" is from 1794.
superstitious (adj.)
late 14c., "involving faith in supernatural powers or magic; characteristic of pagan religion or false religion," from Anglo-French supersticius, Old French supersticios, or directly from Latin superstitiosus "prophetic; full of dread of the supernatural," from superstitio "prophecy, soothsaying, excessive fear of the gods" (see superstition).
superstore (n.)
1960, from super- + store (n.).
superstructure (n.)
1640s, from super- + structure (n.).
supertanker (n.)
1921, from super- + tanker.
supervene (v.)
1640s, "come as something additional," from Latin supervenire "come on top of, come in addition to, come after, follow upon," from super "over, upon" (see super-) + venire "come" (see venue). Related: Supervened; supervening.
supervenient (adj.)
1590s, from Latin supervenientem (nominative superveniens), present participle of supervenire "come in addition to" (see supervene). Related: Superveniently.
supervention (n.)
1640s, from Late Latin superventionem (nominative superventio), noun of action from past participle stem of supervenire "come in addition to" (see supervene).
supervise (v.)
late 15c., "to look over" (implied in supervising), from Medieval Latin supervisus, past participle of supervidere "oversee, inspect," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + videre "see" (see vision). Meaning "to oversee and superintend the work or performance of others" is attested from 1640s. Related: Supervised.
supervision (n.)
1630s, from Medieval Latin supervisionem (nominative supervisio), noun of action from past participle stem of supervidere "oversee, inspect" (see supervise).
supervisor (n.)
"one who inspects and directs the work of others," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin supervisor, agent noun from supervidere "oversee, inspect" (see supervise).
supervisory (adj.)
1828, from supervise + -ory.
superwoman (n.)
1906, as female equivalent of superman in the Nietzschean sense. From 1976 in the sense of "one who successfully combines career and motherhood."
supinate (v.)
1831, "to place the hand so that the palm is turned upward," from Latin supinatus, past participle of supinare "to bend back," related to supinus (see supine). Related: Supinated; supinating; supinator.
supination (n.)
1660s, from Late Latin supinationem (nominative supinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of supinare (see supinate).
supine (adj.)
c.1500, "lying on the back," from Latin supinus "bent backwards, thrown backwards, lying on the back," figuratively "inactive, indolent," from PIE *(s)up- (see sub-). The grammatical use for "Latin verbal noun formed from the past participle stem" (mid-15c.) is from Late Latin supinum verbum "supine verb," perhaps so called because, though furnished with a noun case ending, it "falls back" on the verb. Related: Supinely.