superior

adjective
su·pe·ri·or | \ su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər \

Definition of superior 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : situated higher up : upper

2 : of higher rank, quality, or importance

3 : courageously or serenely indifferent (as to something painful or disheartening)

4a : greater in quantity or numbers escaped by superior speed

b : excellent of its kind : better her superior memory

5 : being a superscript

6a of an animal structure : situated above or anterior or dorsal to another and especially a corresponding part a superior artery

b of a plant structure : situated above or near the top of another part: such as

(1) of a calyx : attached to and apparently arising from the ovary

(2) of an ovary : free from the calyx or other floral envelope

7 : more comprehensive a genus is superior to a species

8 : affecting or assuming an air of superiority : supercilious

superior

noun

Definition of superior (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : one who is above another in rank, station, or office especially : the head of a religious house or order

2 : one that surpasses another in quality or merit

Superior

geographical name
Su·pe·ri·or | \ su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər \

Definition of Superior (Entry 3 of 3)

city and port on Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin population 27,244

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Other words from superior

Adjective

superiorly adverb

Examples of superior in a Sentence

Adjective

This new model offers superior performance. The small army was overwhelmed by superior numbers. He only helps us because it makes him feel superior. Report to your superior officer. The verdict was reversed by a superior court.

Noun

His superior gave him an excellent evaluation. You should report any problems to your immediate superior.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Cameroon shocked Argentina 1-0 in the opener despite two red cards, but from that point on, the Argentinians kept advancing — barely — even when up against seemingly superior opponents. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Russia adds to list of famous World Cup upsets," 2 July 2018 The retired Texans Pro Bowl running back believes that there is no wide receiver in the NFL superior to Texans All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Arian Foster on Texans' DeAndre Hopkins: 'Best receiver in NFL'," 28 June 2018 And last month India’s Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan made apparently unsubstantiated claims that Stephen Hawking had suggested the Vedas, India’s ancient Hindu scriptures, might offer a theory superior to Albert Einstein’s E = mc2. Shekhar Chandra, Scientific American, "India Joins the Worldwide March for Science," 16 Apr. 2018 Using bait with scent and vibration is the best, and shore fishing is far superior to trolling with the stained water. sacbee, "Fishing line: Lake Tahoe is full, the Delta is dirty and several rivers close | The Sacramento Bee," 9 Apr. 2018 The Cavs are not firing Lue, a team official confirmed to cleveland.com, despite the tailspin and deluge of blowout losses to apparently superior opponents. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Tyronn Lue's job as Cavaliers coach is safe while lineups raise questions," 4 Feb. 2018 With Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond as offensive focal points, the door could be opened for the better 3-point shooter to provide spacing — although Johnson is still the superior defender. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons Glenn Robinson III coming for starting forward spot," 14 July 2018 College overtime is superior, especially since the NFL chickened out and instituted the weird you-get-another-chance-if-they-only-kick-a-field-goal rule. Andy Staples, SI.com, "‘Strategic Entertainment’ vs. Entertaining Entertainment: The Flip Side of the NFL-CFB Debate," 11 July 2018 Focused on their vision for aggressive rehabilitation through strength training and conditioning, ATI developed new and superior treatment protocols and techniques. The Aegis, "Upper Chesapeake Health to sponsor half marathon at inaugural Susquehanna Running Festival," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Smallwood wrote to one of his superiors from Snow Hill, Md., on March 14, 1777. Jonathan M. Pitts, Washington Post, "Newly acquired letters illuminate the lives of Maryland’s ‘Old Line’ soldiers," 9 May 2018 The Washington Post said that on least three occasions prior to that, women reported discomfort about Rose's actions to superiors. Bloomberg.com, "More Women Accuse Charlie Rose of Sexual Misconduct," 3 May 2018 That assertion is contradicted by the accounts Kislyak provided to his superiors in Moscow, according to current and former U.S. officials. Carol D. Leonnig, Sari Horwitz And Josh Dawsey, Houston Chronicle, "Mueller seeks to question Trump about Flynn and Comey departures," 23 Jan. 2018 And a male supervisor of hers, who reported the allegations made by the woman and others to his superiors, was fired recently without being given a reason, which is allowed under personnel rules for certain state workers. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "State worker says she was fired for reporting sex harassment by boss, Winston Bennett," 20 Jan. 2018 Deputies who witnessed the incident notified their superiors, WGN-TV reported. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "Illinois judge charged after allegedly dropping gun in courthouse," 11 July 2018 ProPublica and Frontline reported early Thursday morning that Miselis had remained employed at Northrop even after his superiors had been informed of his actions. Aaron Gregg, latimes.com, "Northrop Grumman employee seen on video at violent white supremacist rally no longer employed at company," 7 July 2018 The contemporary scenes, meanwhile, go for low comedy and topical satire, as Singh (the rare Sikh cop on the Mumbai force) dodges his uniformly corrupt superiors. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: The Criminal Life in Mumbai in ‘Sacred Games’," 6 July 2018 Ship commanders can go through their superiors to seek to deny requests, but doing so runs counter to the can-do spirit the Navy prides itself on. Oyin Falana, USA TODAY, "Mission creep a way of life in Western Pacific as sailors struggle with constant demands," 29 June 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for superior

Adjective

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin, comparative of superus upper, from super over, above — more at over

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Learn More about superior

Phrases Related to superior

Mother Superior

Statistics for superior

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for superior

The first known use of superior was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for superior

superior

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of superior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of high quality : high or higher in quality

: great or greater in amount, number, or degree

: better than other people

superior

noun

English Language Learners Definition of superior (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person of higher rank or status than another

superior

adjective
su·pe·ri·or | \ su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər \

Kids Definition of superior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : situated higher up : higher in rank, importance, numbers, or quality

2 : excellent of its kind : better a superior athlete

3 : showing the feeling of being better or more important than others : arrogant a superior smirk

superior

noun

Kids Definition of superior (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who is higher than another in rank, importance, or quality

2 : the head of a religious house or order

superior

adjective
su·pe·ri·or | \ su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər \

Medical Definition of superior 

1 : situated toward the head and further away from the feet than another and especially another similar part of an upright body especially of a human being the superior medial edge of the patient's right scapula —J. M. Lewis — compare inferior sense 1

2 : situated in a more anterior or dorsal position in the body of a quadruped — compare inferior sense 2

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superior

adjective
su·pe·ri·or

Legal Definition of superior 

: of higher status, rank, or priority

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Comments on superior

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