This refers to the different levels of comparison made by adjectives and adverbs. There are three degrees, positive, comparative, and superlative.  For example:

The good dog.        (positive; no comparison implied)

The better dog.      (comparative; comparison between two implied)

The best dog.         (superlative; comparison between three or more implied)

Adverbs can also have degree:

She ran fast.

She ran faster.

She ran fastest.



Most adjectives form the comparative by adding -τερος (-τέρᾱ, -τερον), and the superlative by adding -τατος (-τάτη, -τατον), to the masculine stem.

Positive Comparative Superlative
δίκαιος (δικαιο-) just δικαιό-τερος δικαιό-τατος
μῑκρός (μῑκρο-) small μῑκρό-τερος μῑκρό-τατος
πικρός (πικρο-) bitter πικρό-τερος πικρό-τατος
πονηρός (πονηρο-) bad πονηρό-τερος πονηρό-τατος
σαφής (σαφεσ-) plain σαφέσ-τερος σαφέσ-τατος
εὐκλεής (εὐκλεεσ-) famous εὐκλεέσ-τερος εὐκλεέσ-τατος
μέλᾱς (μελαν-) black μελάν-τερος μελάν-τατος
γλυκύς (γλυκυ-) sweet γλυκύ-τερος γλυκύ-τατος
(πρέσβυς) (πρεσβυ-) old πρεσβύ-τερος πρεσβύ-τατος

cf. principle 32.

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