Hyphen In Compound Adjective With Comparatives Or Superlatives
Some comparatives and superlatives are accomplished by using a suffix (e.g. highest, smaller); if these words are used in a compound adjective, they should be hyphenated. Some comparatives and superlatives use more or most; these generally do not require a hyphen, although some older common phrases may use one.
After five years as a paramedic, Matthew decided to look for a lower-stress job.
Following a personal dispute with his superiors, Andy was demoted to the lowest-level entry position in the company.
Hoping to improve business, Betty moved her tea shop to a faster-growing area of town.
When using these comparisons, be careful that you haven’t used unnecessary words which may clutter your sentence.
For Anna’s premature baby, we’ll need to get the smallest-sized clothes available.
The word sized is redundant in this sentence, so it would be better to take it out and just use smallest clothes.
Best-laid plans often fall apart.
As it is an older common phrase, best-laid may or may not use a hyphen. Consider your audience, and use your own judgment.
Best laid plans often fall apart.