haughty

play
adjective haugh·ty \ˈhȯ-tē, ˈhä-\

Definition of haughty

haughtier

;

haughtiest

  1. :  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

haughtily

play \ˈhȯ-tə-lē, ˈhä-\ adverb

haughtiness

play \ˈhȯ-tē-nəs, ˈhä-\ noun

haughty was our Word of the Day on 04/21/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of haughty in a sentence

  1. He rejected their offer with a tone of haughty disdain.

  2. the haughty waiter smirked when I remarked that it was odd that a French restaurant didn't even have french fries on the menu

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.

Origin and Etymology of haughty

obsolete haught, from Middle English haute, from Anglo-French halt, haut, literally, high, from Latin altus — more at old


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of 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.

HAUGHTY Defined for English Language Learners

haughty

play
adjective haugh·ty \ˈhȯ-tē, ˈhä-\

Definition of haughty for English Language Learners

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


HAUGHTY Defined for Kids

haughty

play
adjective haugh·ty \ˈhȯ-tē\

Definition of haughty for Students

haughtier

;

haughtiest

  1. :  having or showing a proud and superior attitude a haughty princess

haughtily

\ˈhȯ-tə-lē\ adverb

haughtiness

\ˈhȯ-tē-nəs\ noun


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