haugh·​ty | \ ˈhȯ-tē How to pronounce haughty (audio) , ˈhä- \
haughtier; haughtiest

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

Other Words from haughty

haughtily \ ˈhȯ-​tə-​lē How to pronounce haughty (audio) , ˈhä-​ \ adverb
haughtiness \ ˈhȯ-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce haughty (audio) , ˈhä-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for haughty

proud, arrogant, haughty, lordly, insolent, overbearing, supercilious, disdainful mean showing scorn for inferiors. proud may suggest an assumed superiority or loftiness. too proud to take charity arrogant implies a claiming for oneself of more consideration or importance than is warranted. a conceited and arrogant executive haughty suggests a consciousness of superior birth or position. a haughty aristocrat lordly implies pomposity or an arrogant display of power. a lordly condescension insolent implies contemptuous haughtiness. ignored by an insolent waiter overbearing suggests a tyrannical manner or an intolerable insolence. an overbearing supervisor supercilious implies a cool, patronizing haughtiness. an aloof and supercilious manner disdainful suggests a more active and openly scornful superciliousness. disdainful of their social inferiors

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.

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
Recent Examples on the Web Uncoupled also stars Tuc Watkins as Michael's ex-boyfriend Colin, Tisha Campbell as his bestie Suzanne, and Marcia Gay Harden as one of Michael's haughty clients, who's also going through a breakup. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 28 July 2022 Only a fool would turn down the opportunity to watch haughty penguins refuse fish offered to them by beleaguered zookeepers, but the endless explaining was exhausting. Ky Henderson, Rolling Stone, 25 July 2022 During a particularly chaotic shift, haughty chief consultant Mr. Lockhart (Alex Jennings) is showing off the facilities for a visiting politician and phalanx of reporters. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2022 And showroom assistant Marguerite (Roxane Duran) acts as a buffer with haughty head tailor Monsieur Carré (Bertrand Poncet), while Mrs. Harris endears herself to the hive of seamstresses. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 July 2022 The same would feel fair for our haughty list-maker. Natalia Winkelman, BostonGlobe.com, 29 June 2022 Blended whiskies are usually given short shrift by single malt snobs, but Compass Box’s superior craftsmanship and transparency about what’s in the blends have won accolades from even the most haughty of connoisseurs. Tony Sachs, Robb Report, 23 Oct. 2019 Topgolf aims to reset how the layperson experiences the game by placing a new kind of welcome mat outside golf’s haughty front gates. Michael Mcknight, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 That line of thinking seems haughty and presumptuous even in normal times. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'haughty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of haughty

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for haughty

obsolete haught, from Middle English haute, from Anglo-French halt, haut, literally, high, from Latin altus — more at old

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The first known use of haughty was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Haughty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haughty. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for haughty


haugh·​ty | \ ˈhȯ-tē How to pronounce haughty (audio) \
haughtier; haughtiest

Kids Definition of haughty

: having or showing a proud and superior attitude a haughty princess

Other Words from haughty

haughtily \ ˈhȯ-​tə-​lē \ adverb
haughtiness \ ˈhȯ-​tē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on haughty

Nglish: Translation of haughty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of haughty for Arabic Speakers


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