Definition of haughty
- haughty aristocrats
- haughty young beauty … never deigned to notice us
- —Herman Melville
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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
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.
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.
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