inferiority complex


Definition of inferiority complex

1 : an acute sense of personal inferiority often resulting either in timidity or through overcompensation in exaggerated aggressiveness
2 : a collective sense of cultural, regional, or national inferiority

Examples of inferiority complex in a Sentence

His shyness is the result of an inferiority complex.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Aggies haven’t won a national championship since FDR was president, and this produces a massive inferiority complex in the fan base that might be America’s most passionate. Andy Staples,, "The Message Behind the Money: How Texas A&M Landed Jimbo Fisher," 28 June 2018 For a place with a civic inferiority complex but a rising profile in some tangible ways, this is heady stuff. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The importance of Kansas City hearing 'yes' about the World Cup," 13 June 2018 As veteran Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn documents, Simon became one of America’s foremost songwriters largely because the world so dependably inflamed his inferiority complex. Steve Almond,, "Songs of insecurity and of experience," 23 May 2018 Always responding to Barkley’s jabs just reinforces the contention of some that San Antonio has a major inferiority complex. Jim Lefko, San Antonio Express-News, "Sports writers discuss: Did the Saints jump the gun on UTSA's Davenport?," 11 May 2018 But Obama’s simple existence pulled down America’s pants and exposed its flaccid inferiority complex to the world. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: Blame Obama and My Mama," 2 Mar. 2018 The Eagles advanced to two previous Super Bowls, but lost both to add what some in the city admit is something of an inferiority complex. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Eagles' Super Bowl victory parade gives Philadelphia its long-awaited celebration," 8 Feb. 2018 This being Canada, a country of chronic apologies that sometimes suffers an inferiority complex when confronted by its swaggering neighbor to the south, the chest-thumping wasn’t exactly loud. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "Canadians Greet Bombardier Decision With Pride and a Little Snark," 27 Jan. 2018 Winning one major professional sports championship since 1983 underpins that inferiority complex. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Eagles March Past Vikings to Super Bowl, Just as They Predicted," 21 Jan. 2018

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

1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of inferiority complex was in 1922

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More Definitions for inferiority complex

inferiority complex


English Language Learners Definition of inferiority complex

: a belief that you are less worthy or important than other people

inferiority complex


Medical Definition of inferiority complex

: an acute sense of personal inferiority resulting either in timidity or through overcompensation in exaggerated aggressiveness

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behavior toward others

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