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

That might not sound like a big difference, but in a back-to-back test, the new seat proved to be clearly superior. Nick Goddard, Popular Mechanics, "The Ducati Scrambler Icon Bike Just Got a Little Sweeter To Ride," 25 Sep. 2018 Essentially, if a service like Windows became more valuable the more people adopted it, its size could give it an insurmountable advantage, even if other products were superior. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "How the antitrust battles of the ‘90s set the stage for today’s tech giants," 6 Sep. 2018 Poole did see consistently superior performance from the i9 in single-core tests. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "We tested throttling on the MacBook Pro—now Apple says it has a firmware fix," 24 July 2018 The Kona offers superior performance, greater everyday usability, and more features for the money. Washington Post, "Edmunds compares Hyundai Kona and Ford EcoSport," 27 June 2018 Then join in some smack talk with Chicago, where residents are claiming their original bean (Cloud Gate) is superior. San Antonio Express-News, "Your best bets for attractions all around Texas," 12 June 2018 Two Alabama locations of JCPenney have received the company's highest awards this month for superior performance and customer service. William Thornton, AL.com, "Two Alabama JCPenney locations receive Founder's Award," 9 Apr. 2018 The experienced ground counters did well, but the drone’s vantage point was superior. Smithsonian, "When It Comes to Counting Wildlife, Drones Are More Accurate Than People," 27 Feb. 2018 What makes more sense — that Cowboy fans are simply superior to a random college of humans interested in the other 31 teams, or that the franchise's brand and history has generated a self-perpetuating business success? Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Whit not an All-Star (?), Jeff Long and KU, Chiefs fears, Odom's crossroads," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 In meetings with her superiors, LaMark Muir described feeling harassed and disparaged because of her gender, email exchanges included in court filings show. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Hartford Settles Lawsuit Alleging Culture Of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Within Police Department," 28 June 2018 But the agents and prosecutors later determined that Schmidt lied extensively at the five-hour debriefing, falsely exonerating himself and his superiors, and setting back their probe. Roger Parloff, Fortune, "How VW Paid $25 Billion for 'Dieselgate' — and Got Off Easy," 6 Feb. 2018 Like other government employees, intelligence officers cannot ignore the policy decisions of their political superiors. David B. Rivkin Jr. And, WSJ, "What’s at Stake in the Attack on Haspel," 7 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

14 Nov 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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