supercilious


su·per·cil·ious

adjective \ˌsü-pər-ˈsi-lē-əs, -ˈsil-yəs\

: having or showing the proud and unpleasant attitude of people who think that they are better or more important than other people

Full Definition of SUPERCILIOUS

:  coolly and patronizingly haughty <reacted to their breach of etiquette with a supercilious smile>
su·per·cil·ious·ly adverb
su·per·cil·ious·ness noun

Examples of SUPERCILIOUS

  1. <the supercilious art dealer rolled her eyes when we asked if she had anything for under $1,000>
  2. While Americans did congregate together at baseball games, … amusement parks, dance halls and arcades, tensions still roiled. The middle class may not have been as supercilious as the elites it replaced, but middle-class reformers were every bit as strident as those elites in condemning … working-class entertainments, and for the same reason: These entertainments constituted a challenge to the class's social control. —Neal Gabler, Life: The Movie, 1998

Origin of SUPERCILIOUS

Latin superciliosus, from supercilium eyebrow, haughtiness, from super- + -cilium eyelid (akin to celare to hide) — more at hell
First Known Use: 1614

Related to SUPERCILIOUS

Synonyms
assumptive, bumptious, cavalier, chesty, haughty, highfalutin (also hifalutin), high-and-mighty, high-handed, high-hat, huffish, huffy, imperious, important, lofty, lordly, masterful, overweening, peremptory, pompous, presuming, presumptuous, pretentious, self-asserting, self-assertive, sniffy, stiff-necked, arrogant, superior, toplofty (also toploftical), uppish, uppity
Antonyms
humble, lowly, modest, unarrogant, unpretentious
See Synonym Discussion at proud

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: supercilium
Previous Word in the Dictionary: superciliary
All Words Near: supercilious

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up supercilious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).