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

Newsletter Sign-up On top of superior coaching, moving away from the U.S. and playing in a top-five European league also gave Pulisic the space to develop without a constant American spotlight. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Christian Pulisic Becomes Most Expensive U.S. Soccer Star After Record Transfer," 2 Jan. 2019 As a shock to probably nobody, the direct-to-consumer mattress was indeed far superior to my regular mattress, which is actually my old roommate’s mattress, which before that was probably somebody else’s too. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "I used all the best stuff for a week and it nearly broke me," 12 Dec. 2018 In 1968 he was appointed commander in chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC), superior officer to all U.S. military in the Vietnam War. P.j. O'rourke, Town & Country, "Roberta McCain, the Woman Who Shaped Senator John McCain," 29 Aug. 2018 Here are their stories: Kissimmee Officer Matthew Baxter Died: Aug. 18, 2017 Cause: Baxter, 27, was killed was on patrol Aug. 18 after approaching Everett Glenn Miller, who authorities said shot Baxter and his superior officer, Sgt. Jeff Weiner, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Peace Officers Memorial Day: These Orlando-area officers lost their lives on duty in the past decade," 15 May 2018 For years, superior officers schemed to end his career. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "McMaster and Commander," 23 Apr. 2018 According to court documents, a superior officer left Alston a voicemail message in May 2010 that included the N-word. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Judge orders commission to reconsider Brookline firefighter discrimination case," 19 Apr. 2018 His astounding heroism might have been recognized with the Medal of Honor in the waning days of the war, but a superior officer didn’t want to delay him from returning home. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "President Trump to award Medal of Honor to World War II hero for repelling German attack," 29 Mar. 2018 In Vulgar Favors, Maureen Orth points to an incident involving a disrespectful gift for a superior officer as a possible reason for Trail not getting promoted. Eliza Thompson, Cosmopolitan, "Everything in The Assassination of Gianni Versace That Really Happened (And What Didn't)," 15 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The regular person is Joe Turner (Max Irons, in a part previously occupied by Robert Redford), a CIA analyst who reports an intriguing pattern to his superiors, kicking off a chain of calamitous events. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "With ‘Condor,’ the classic Robert Redford thriller gets a TV reboot," 4 June 2018 Hendrix said Redfield’s superiors initially told him not to send a letter detailing the concerns. NBC News, "Research misconduct allegations shadow likely CDC appointee," 21 Mar. 2018 Her superiors ignored her recommendations and her subordinates disregarded her orders. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘Liberated Spirits’ Review: When Alcohol Was a Women’s Issue," 25 Oct. 2018 The attack on the Skripal’s is reminiscent of the infamous assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, a former intelligence officer who defected to London in 2000 after publically accusing his superiors of hatching a plot against a Russian oligarch. Fox News, "Poisoned Russian ex-spy, daughter have slim chance of surviving, niece says," 2 Oct. 2018 Chelsea boss Antonio Conte steered clear of aiming new criticism at his superiors after the Blues' top four hopes suffered a huge blow, as Tottenham earned a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. SI.com, "Conte Deflects Exit Talk & Insists Blues Must Continue With 'Professionalism' After Spurs Defeat," 2 Apr. 2018 Although she was surrounded by men, many of whom were her superiors, Adkins said Murray never stopped championing women's rights and equality. Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, "Marines say farewell to the first enlisted woman Marine to retire from active duty," 24 Jan. 2018 Evidence introduced on Tuesday also indicated that some employees were told by their superiors not to cooperate with Cohen. Fox News, "Federal officials seek accord in recorded calls controversy," 17 May 2018 If, as in the case of Ms. Haspel, such officials cannot safely rely on procedures approved and directed by their superiors, then even being involved in any way in such an interrogation is risky. WSJ, "Democratic Leaders Have Known Since 2001," 14 May 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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Statistics for superior

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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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