Definition of haughty
: blatantly and disdainfully proud : having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior haughty aristocrats haughty young beauty … never deigned to notice us — Herman Melville
haughtilyplay \ˈhȯ-tə-lē, ˈhä-\ adverb
haughtinessplay \ˈhȯ-tē-nəs, ˈhä-\ noun
haughty was our Word of the Day on 04/21/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of haughty in a sentence
He rejected their offer with a tone of haughty disdain.
the haughty waiter smirked when I remarked that it was odd that a French restaurant didn't even have french fries on the menu
The Connotations of haughty
Someone who is haughty looks down on others—and that position high above everyone else is present in the word's etymology. Haughty traces back to the Anglo-French halt or haut, which means literally "high."
The word has strong negative connotations. Someone who is described as "haughty" is proud in the worst way. This is not the pride a parent feels for a child who's worked hard at something, and it's not the pride a marathoner feels for completing a race. The word haughty communicates a kind of pride that is obviously full of contempt for others deemed inferior or unworthy.
The word is not applied only to people. Haughty often modifies nouns like glare, look, appearance, and attitude.
Origin and Etymology of haughty
obsolete haught, from Middle English haute, from Anglo-French halt, haut, literally, high, from Latin altus — more at old
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of haughty
HAUGHTY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of haughty for English Language Learners
: having or showing the insulting attitude of people who think that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people
HAUGHTY Defined for Kids
Definition of haughty for Students
: having or showing a proud and superior attitude a haughty princess
Seen and Heard
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