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 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 Streep is expectedly good at haughty neurosis flecked with self-awareness, Bergen as her straight-talking counterpart is a delight, and Wiest navigates the space in between with an affable emotional intelligence. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Meryl Streep, Dianne Wiest and Candice Bergen have a high time on the high seas," 9 Dec. 2020 Driving by in their bouncy Citroën 2CVs and curvy Renault Dauphines, French motorists observe the ritual with tolerant bemusement or haughty disdain. New York Times, "The Brexit Fight, Through a Reporter’s Prism of a Changed Continent," 26 Dec. 2020 Their surfaces will seem daunting but look beyond these novels’ haughty, hefty façades. Scott Bradfield, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Make William Gaddis your quarantine buddy," 17 Dec. 2020 And while O’Connor is splendid as the resentful Charles, Erin Doherty’s underused Princess Anne practically demands her own show, so delicious is her haughty, insubordinate ennui. Graham Hillard, Washington Examiner, "Queen and country," 10 Dec. 2020 Making artists mysterious, haughty, and inaccessible is an art historian’s favorite and worst conceit. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Actually, Iconic Documentary: An Absorbing Hour with Richard Estes," 22 Aug. 2020 All of this is why the earnest feminist contribution to the Karen debate—why isn’t there a name for haughty, shouty men who make customer-service complaints, or call the police on Black people, putting them in danger?—is irrelevant. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Karen War Will Never End," 19 Aug. 2020 The haughty Fabienne isn't the same person as the woman who plays her, but make no mistake — nobody else could play her. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "Catherine Deneuve is as magnifique as ever in The Truth: Review," 3 July 2020 Still, a puzzle lurks within that mood of public glee at seeing the haughty-but-dirty brought low. The Economist, "Chaguan To China’s rulers, the cupidity of officials is a political crisis," 27 June 2020

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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Haughty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haughty. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on haughty

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