superior

adjective
su·​pe·​ri·​or | \ su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər How to pronounce superior (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Superior (audio) \

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

Graded to an incredibly high 62+ Rockwell hardness, these knives are also fully stain- and rust-resistant, and are precision-balanced and weighted for superior performance. Popular Mechanics, "These Precise Japanese Knives Are a Kitchen Must-Have," 11 Dec. 2018 The Craftsman began publishing and selling house plans that embodied these characteristics, which made what Stickley considered to be superior home design available to the masses. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "There's A Reason Original Craftsman Style Homes Are Still Around After 100 Years," 21 Nov. 2018 Welcome to the winners' circle, Honeywell HCM350W. There are so, so many reasons this humidifier is superior to every other model on the market. Stephanie Shore Fisher, Country Living, "The Honeywell HCM350W Humidifier Is Single-Handedly Helping Me Survive the Winter," 12 Feb. 2019 The Fort Walton Beach Police Department strives to provide superior police services to all citizens and uses opportunities such as this to learn and refine our interactions with the public. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Are We Done Yet With Waffle House? Viral Video Shows Black Couple Being Arrested for Questioning Juice Charge at Florida Waffle House," 14 June 2018 More: Top Workplaces Cincinnati: 38,695 surveyed at 184 local firms to pick winners for 2018 Over the years, the company’s focus has been on producing high-quality products, delivering superior customer service, and maintaining a positive workplace. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Top Workplaces Cincinnati winner: Vega has no layoffs in 30 years, secure work environment," 7 June 2018 Since its founding by patriarch C.M. Jones, the Jones family has served its community with superior customer service. The Aegis, "Jones Junction will be premier sponsor for Bel Air's July 4 celebration," 6 June 2018 Leicester City wrote an even more incomprehensible chapter by winning the Premier League in 2016 against 19 other teams which were financially superior to them and historically more established. SI.com, "Decoding Diego: Investigating the Impact 'El Cholo' Simeone Has Made on Atletico Madrid," 5 June 2018 In the early days of the NFL, the college game was considered superior and many associated with the game at the college level wanted nothing to do with the professional version. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "This plan to fix NFL Draft tanking would have resulted in higher pick for Cowboys | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Notably, the statement did not say the priest should leave the priesthood to take care of his child as a layman — the common default response by church superiors. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Priest’s son demands Vatican attention for clergy’s children," 20 Feb. 2019 But as the final stages approached, a female army lieutenant loyal to the government learned of the plot and alerted her superiors. John Otis And, WSJ, "‘Pressure Cooker’: Discontent Rises in Venezuela Military as Economy Dives," 18 May 2018 Han isn’t the greatest Imperial soldier, and after getting in trouble with his superiors, he gets tossed in a large cell housing some sort of noisy beast. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Solo': Decoding the six biggest reveals of the newest 'Star Wars' movie (spoilers!)," 27 May 2018 Her minders later sent the pictures to their superiors, pretending that the photos were taken on different days. Maya Wang, WSJ, "China’s Bumbling Police State," 26 Dec. 2018 At the time, a spokesperson for Tesla said that none of the individuals ever brought up these claims with their superiors. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Black Tesla factory workers describe racism and discrimination, NYT reports," 30 Nov. 2018 His activities are unlikely to remain unnoticed by his superiors. Karel Janicek, Fox News, "Catholic priest in Slovakia challenges celibacy rules," 21 Sep. 2018 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

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

21 Mar 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 How to pronounce superior (audio) \

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 How to pronounce superior (audio) \

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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