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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The resulting fabrics have superior softness and stretchability, while the method streamlines production by reducing setup time and improving overall efficiency, the mill stated. Angela Velasquez, Sourcing Journal, 8 July 2024 That said, Gabelli referenced Paramount’s 45-day go-shop window, under which the company has the right to seek a superior offer to Skydance’s. Todd Spangler, Variety, 8 July 2024
Noun
During police briefings, superiors and officers would mockingly ask Limon to pronounce arrestees’ names, according to the lawsuit. Mathew Miranda, Sacramento Bee, 24 June 2024 Interactions with superiors can go sideways as Mercury and Saturn clash. USA TODAY, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for superior 

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 12 Jul. 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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