haughty

adjective
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

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Other Words from haughty

haughtily \ ˈhȯ-​tə-​lē How to pronounce haughtily (audio) , ˈhä-​ \ adverb
haughtiness \ ˈhȯ-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce haughtiness (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 Viewers may then perceive them as uninterested, shifty, haughty, servile or guilty. Kate Murphy, New York Times, "Frequently Asked Questions and Advice," 11 Apr. 2020 The vice president would likely bring out the angry, indignant, and haughty Harvard Law professor, solidifying a negative image that conservative and moderate voters already have of Warren. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "Warren Would Be a Bad VP Pick for Biden," 5 May 2020 This is just one of the vignettes that Ms. Glenconner offers about the haughty, aloof culture into which she was born. Alexandra Wolfe, WSJ, "A Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret Sticks Up for the Royals," 20 Mar. 2020 Too many of its officials have become political apparatchiks, fearful of making decisions that anger their superiors and too removed and haughty when dealing with the public to admit mistakes and learn from them. New York Times, "Coronavirus Crisis Shows China’s Governance Failure," 10 Mar. 2020 Company insiders have described him as increasingly haughty and imperious. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "Carlos Ghosn Defends His Legacy," 8 Jan. 2020 And while talk of national championships may sound silly and even haughty at the moment, the school had to find a place to start. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football opened the vault to hire Mel Tucker. But will it pay off?," 12 Feb. 2020 Murray’s haughty weatherman eventually found a way to break the cycle. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Fresh off another collapse, reeling Texas braces for No. 1 Baylor," 9 Feb. 2020 Comedy skits featured stock characters that purport to reflect modern Chinese society: the exasperated mother-in-law and the equally exasperated daughter-in-law, the plainspoken car mechanic and the haughty company owner. Lavender Au, The New York Review of Books, "Stuck in Central China on Coronavirus Lockdown," 4 Feb. 2020

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.

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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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Haughty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haughty. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for haughty

haughty

adjective
How to pronounce haughty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of haughty

: having or showing the insulting attitude of people who think that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people

haughty

adjective
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on haughty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for haughty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with haughty

Spanish Central: Translation of haughty

Nglish: Translation of haughty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of haughty for Arabic Speakers

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