high·brow | \ˈhī-ˌbrau̇ \

Definition of highbrow 

: a person who possesses or has pretensions to superior learning or culture

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Other Words from highbrow

highbrow adjective
highbrowed \ˈhī-ˌbrau̇d \ adjective
highbrowism \ˈhī-ˌbrau̇-ˌi-zəm \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for highbrow


egghead, geek, intellectual, longhair, nerd


anti-intellectual, lowbrow, philistine

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Examples of highbrow in a Sentence

guests at her elegant dinner parties are a mix of the city's highbrows and captains of industry

Recent Examples on the Web

The rest of the drink skews fruity and herbal, thanks to pineapple juice and yellow Chartreuse, a French liqueur that adds a highbrow and slightly medicinal whiff to any cocktail. Marian Bull, GQ, "—Peter Meehan, Author Of An Upcoming Barbecue Book And Former Editor Of," 27 June 2018 But a parallel, often highbrow, strand of literary and cinematic expression is deeply skeptical of the scientific enterprise and its impacts (Frankenstein, Dr. Strangelove, Neuromancer). Sean W. Fleming, WIRED, "Lessons from Montecito: Science's Credibility Is At Stake," 14 May 2018 All this, plus a new Bachelorette season for our guilty pleasure, and a new Roxane Gay book for our highbrow needs. refinery29.com, "May Click List: R29 Entertainment Editors' Picks For The Month," 2 May 2018 Gertner and Dershowitz are longtime friends, but the highbrow exchange had an edge. Mark Arsenault, BostonGlobe.com, "A Harvard face-off in the court of public opinion over Trump, Mueller," 20 Apr. 2018 The distinction between highbrow and lowbrow celebrities was once totally uncrossable, but the Bling Ring was obsessed with these second-tier stars. Jessica Goldstein, The Cut, "I Think About This a Lot: This Bling Ring Member’s Voice-mail Meltdown," 16 Apr. 2018 Skepticism about Enlightenment values, in his view, comes from leftist humanities professors and highbrow-magazine editors who have read too much Nietzsche, or from theocrats on the right. Alison Gopnik, The Atlantic, "When Truth and Reason Are No Longer Enough," 17 Mar. 2018 Bravo was once a cable network that would broadcast highbrow plays and independent films. Emily Fehrenbacher, Alaska Dispatch News, "Alaskan cooks with the best on ‘Top Chef’; residents of McCarthy battle a williwaw in ‘Edge of Alaska’," 24 Oct. 2017 For starters, there's celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson's eponymously-named on-site restaurant, which opened in May 2015, where the ethos is happily familiar: Dishes are at once highbrow and flavorful, but without the fuss. Condé Nast Traveler, "Hamilton Princess & Beach Club," 20 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'highbrow.' 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 highbrow

1898, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for highbrow

The first known use of highbrow was in 1898

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More Definitions for highbrow


high·brow | \ˈhī-ˌbrau̇ \

Kids Definition of highbrow

: a person of great learning or culture

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More from Merriam-Webster on highbrow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for highbrow

Spanish Central: Translation of highbrow

Nglish: Translation of highbrow for Spanish Speakers

Comments on highbrow

What made you want to look up highbrow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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