superior

1 of 2

adjective

su·​pe·​ri·​or su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər How to pronounce superior (audio)
1
: situated higher up : upper
2
: of higher rank, quality, or importance
3
: courageously or serenely indifferent (as to something painful or disheartening)
4
a
: greater in quantity or numbers
escaped by superior speed
b
: excellent of its kind : better
her superior memory
5
: being a superscript
6
a
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
superiorly adverb

superior

2 of 2

noun

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
3

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Buffett’s preference for high-quality companies that generate significant cash flows is evident from the better profitability metrics combined with a superior free cash flow yield. Bill Stone, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The two events occurring within a few days of each other was a mere coincidence, as Rubenstein’s superior wealth ($3.7 billion) was not a factor in the Orioles taking on Burnes’ 2024 salary of $15.6 million. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 14 Feb. 2024 At least 10 individualized steps are then required to sew the jeans, which are constructed with a slightly curved belt for superior comfort and a greater range of fit. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 13 Feb. 2024 EVs tend to be much heavier than conventional cars, and wear on their tires will be increased further by drivers taking advantage of EVs’ better torque (and thus superior acceleration). Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 11 Feb. 2024 Some boots, like our top pick from The North Face, have extra grippy outsoles that give you superior traction on slippery or icy surfaces. Calin Van Paris, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 The Vision Pro has a superior user interface, better picture quality, more apps and higher computing power than other headsets. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 In the past 10 years, SNAG Golf has built a premier learning system recognized by industry leaders around the world as the superior method to teach golf fundamentals in a fun and easy way. Miami Herald, 31 Jan. 2024 And as major applications fell to these upstarts, with their superior attributes, a question naturally arose. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
According to the indictment, Kry and his superior also found a way to profit from the country’s wild monkeys—funneling them into the biomedical supply chain. Erika Fry, Fortune, 27 Jan. 2024 In that scene, the Brit’s critique of American military leaders provides a pretext for the Americans to rise to their superiors’ defense and school the English in the street. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024 But he also is known for clashing with his superiors, something that led to his parting with San Francisco and reportedly resulted in strained relations with some people at Michigan. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2024 To be safe, the superior tested her heart rate and blood pressure and wasn't happy with the results. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 5 Jan. 2024 Were the dusty bodegas of old superior to the anonymous, flattened spaces where many of us now buy our food? Vulture, 20 Jan. 2024 As messages from her superiors mysteriously begin to recede, locals step up. Alexandra Jacobs, New York Times, 7 Jan. 2024 That’s because the judge’s direct superiors who would be tasked with any inquiry only risk losing their position for cause as well. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 5 Jan. 2024 The intake officer contacted a superior to ask about Johnston’s request, the suit states. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'superior.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near superior

Cite this Entry

“Superior.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superior. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

superior

1 of 2 adjective
su·​pe·​ri·​or su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər How to pronounce superior (audio)
1
: situated higher up : upper
2
: of higher rank, quality, or importance
3
: courageously or calmly indifferent (as to something painful)
4
a
: greater in quantity or numbers
escaped by superior speed
b
: excellent of its kind : better
a superior memory
5
: covering or including more things
a genus is superior to a species
6
: feeling that one is better or more important than others
superiorly adverb

superior

2 of 2 noun
1
: one who is above another in rank, station, or office
especially : the head of a religious house or order
2
: one that goes beyond another in quality or merit

Medical Definition

superior

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

Legal Definition

superior

adjective
su·​pe·​ri·​or
: of higher status, rank, or priority

Geographical Definition

Superior

geographical name

Su·​pe·​ri·​or su̇-ˈpir-ē-ər How to pronounce Superior (audio)
city and port on Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin population 27,244

More from Merriam-Webster on superior

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