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

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 Harris’s naturally haughty, self-satisfied miasma works perfectly. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 22 Dec. 2021 Meanwhile, haughty, beautiful Robiya (Yulduz Rajabova) enjoys her position as Kamil’s favorite. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 17 Dec. 2021 Known as the Queen of the Midlands, Gordon had a reputation as a tough and haughty actor who would sweep into rehearsals from a Rolls Royce, but she was beloved by cast and crew. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 23 Nov. 2021 Legislators slammed a haughty name on the bill—calling it the Alabama Literacy Act—and set it to launch in 2021-22. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, 15 Nov. 2021 The latter is more formal, and customary in Europe, but haughty sounding to American ears. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, 4 Nov. 2021 There’s an equally funny double of handsome, wealthy, gloriously dim and besotted Bingley and his haughty, posher-than-thou sister Caroline. David Benedict, Variety, 3 Nov. 2021 Raskolnikov, a haughty and penniless student flitting about the slums of St. Petersburg, brutally murders a nasty old lady—a pawnbroker—and her blameless, just-happened-to-be-there sister. James Parker, The Atlantic, 19 Oct. 2021 Most of the scenery chewing gets done by Ben Affleck as a haughty, obnoxious man of relative power who offers no illusions about being a good person or of using his stature for good. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near haughty

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haughty

haul

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Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for haughty

haughty

adjective

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

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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