superiority complex


: an exaggerated opinion of oneself

Examples of superiority complex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Although Ethan explained everything, Harper still wasn’t sure whether or not to believe him—despite this couple having a superiority complex rooted in having always told each other the truth—until the penultimate episode. Time, 7 Dec. 2022 Still, England manager Gareth Southgate cautioned against any superiority complex on Thursday, reminding journalists that England had never beaten the U.S. in a major tournament. Time, 25 Nov. 2022 And having a superiority complex has always been that voice. Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 24 Aug. 2022 This can veer into an intellectual superiority complex. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, 22 Apr. 2022 Like all egomaniacs, his insufferable superiority complex comes entangled with a devastating inferiority complex; ambition and supremacy are matched by self-loathing and anger. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 23 Aug. 2021 My boyfriend, on the other hand, sometimes has somewhat of a superiority complex. Love, 8 Oct. 2019 Not so long ago, a restaurant opening in a luxury development might have had tablecloths, formal service, even more formal cuisine, and a superiority complex., 18 Sep. 2019 Something about this tickled me, a high school loner with a superiority complex. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 13 Oct. 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of superiority complex was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near superiority complex

Cite this Entry

“Superiority complex.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

superiority complex

: an excessive striving for or pretense of superiority to compensate for supposed inferiority

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