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 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 Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang makes an ideal addition to the clan as Nora’s haughty tech-phenom cousin. Judy Berman, Time, "Awkwafina Takes the Asian-American Entertainment Renaissance to New Heights in Nora From Queens," 16 Jan. 2020 Most of the second episode is devoted to the travails of a deformed young woman named Yennifer (Anya Chalotra), whose jerk of a father sells her off to a haughty witch named Tissaia de Vries (MyAnna Buring). Darren Franich, EW.com, "Netflix's The Witcher is nakedly terrible: Review," 20 Dec. 2019 And Uwajeh's Roxane — beautiful, intelligent, with a haughty harshness when demanding her lover's poetic best — would make any admirer quake at the knees. Demetrios Matheou, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cyrano de Bergerac': Theater Review," 8 Dec. 2019 That the Son of God, born of a woman, and sentenced to the death of a slave, had perished unrecognized by his judges, was a reflection fit to give pause to even the haughtiest monarch. Tom Holland, Time, "The Crucifixion Took on New Religious Meaning in the Centuries After the Death of Jesus. Here's What Changed," 29 Oct. 2019 What is the root of the haughty aristocratic conservatism the Times chooses to foist on its liberal readership twice a week? David Klion, The New Republic, "The Conscience of Bret Stephens," 24 Sep. 2019 Johnson, who is about to formally launch the campaign for an unpredictable election on Dec. 12, is already saddled with a reputation for being haughty and occasionally out of touch. BostonGlobe.com, "LONDON — Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of Britain’s House of Commons and a prominent ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, suggested this week that victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire lacked the common sense to defy firefighters’ orders and flee the building, costing them their lives.," 6 Nov. 2019

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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Haughty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haughty. Accessed 24 Feb. 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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