haugh·ty | \ˈhȯ-tē, 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, ˈhä- \ adverb
haughtiness \ˈhȯ-tē-nəs, 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

But other Europeans should not be too haughty about Germany’s debate, for their own rows on asylum are barely more rational. The Economist, "How policy debates in Europe become untethered from reality," 12 July 2018 The notoriously haughty royal went through great pains to smuggle her jewels out of France during the Revolution, and they haven’t been seen in public for more than 200 years. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: Pearls Belonging to Marie Antoinette, Unseen for 200 Years, to Be Auctioned off This Fall," 20 June 2018 Or of Goneril, played by Troy as snarky and haughty, with little of the vulnerability and hurt Lear’s eldest daughter feels. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This 'King Lear' more humdrum than tragic," 6 July 2018 Clarkson, often adorned in deliciously extravagant looks, luxuriates in her lines, imbuing them with haughty privilege and Southern hospitality. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Amy Adams' 'Sharp Objects' needs to be sharper to make its point," 5 July 2018 One can argue that Golden State is too cool, too haughty and too damn good. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Warriors' Greatness May Annoy Some but They Aren't Going Anywhere," 9 June 2018 Fumero’s haughty, conniving, intense character and her heartless toying with Siegfried and the audience gave the production its sizzle. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ballet's 'Swan Lake' is one gorgeous dance after another," 1 June 2018 Even director Rian Johnson has admitted to turning to those films for inspiration, mirroring a shot from Revenge of the Sith in The Last Jedi and making reference to the fall of the haughty Jedi and the rise of Darth Sidious. Brendan Nystedt, WIRED, "Solo: A Star Wars Story," 29 May 2018 Florence also supportively turns a deaf ear toward her own parents (Emily Watson and Samuel West) and their haughty carping about Edward’s humble background. Tom Russo, BostonGlobe.com, "A love letter that’s written in the sand," 23 May 2018

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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Statistics for haughty

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for haughty

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

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More Definitions for haughty



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


haugh·ty | \ˈhȯ-tē \
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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Comments on haughty

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