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

Those numbers are both down from the first week of her sixth album, 2017's Reputation, but are dramatically superior to any other album released in the interim. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Taylor Swift's Big 'Lover' Debut Week," 4 Sep. 2019 Yet that didn’t stop Mueller’s staff and Rod Rosenstein, their Justice Department superior, from indicting Papadopoulos on a felony charge. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "McCabe and Papadopoulos: Two-Tiered Justice," 24 Aug. 2019 Served thick, salty and hot, the house potato chips are superior to the house fries. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "52 Weeks of Burgers: Tycoon Flats," 23 Aug. 2019 Any idea that suggests a racial group is superior, or that there’s something wrong with a racial group, is indeed a racist idea. Kate Tuttle, BostonGlobe.com, "Ibram X. Kendi explores why ‘not racist’ doesn’t equal ‘anti-racist’," 22 Aug. 2019 Muslims in one case, white people in another—are superior, and need their own separate state ruled by their own people, and are justified in committing acts of violence in their people’s name. The Economist, "America grapples with a lethal mix of terrorism and lax gun laws," 8 Aug. 2019 Colorado, facing a roster clearly superior on paper, once again simply didn’t look like a team that could hang with baseball’s big boys. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Astros rough up Rockies’ pitching in 11-6 win over Colorado in series opener," 6 Aug. 2019 The proposition isn’t that the American conception of nationhood is necessarily superior. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 Five of the 11 resulted in Cassidy being counseled by a superior on proper judicial behavior. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "AG William Barr promotes immigration judges with high asylum denial rates," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Generally, federal ethics rules prohibit giving (or contributing to) gifts of any kind to superiors, but allow for employees to spend up to $10 on birthdays and certain holidays. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "A Border Patrol gala retirement party will be held at a Trump golf resort," 13 Sep. 2019 Deputies said another detention officer suspected an unprofessional relationship between Wilson and Frost and reported the suspicion to superiors. Fox News, "Female detention officer fired after discovery of love note to male inmate: report," 28 July 2019 Defense lawyer Tim Parlatore questioned why Dille never confronted Gallagher or reported him to superiors until after deployment. CBS News, "Navy SEAL killed young prisoner and called him "ISIS dirtbag," witnesses testify," 20 June 2019 Parlatore accused Dille of using a group text to coordinate other troops to report Gallagher to superiors. Washington Post, "Witness: Navy SEAL called dead prisoner an ‘ISIS dirtbag’," 19 June 2019 Justice claims in one indictment that Huawei employees in the U.S. stole T-Mobile technology at the direction of superiors in China. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "China’s Huawei Reckoning," 29 Jan. 2019 The next day, Hernandez reported for work and only told his superiors the bare minimum of what occurred, said Orange County Corrections Chief Louis A. Quiñones, who was on hand for the ceremony. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Corrections officer’s heroism during fire lands surprise award from Orange County Fire Rescue," 8 July 2019 Among the system’s deficiencies, workers were reluctant to tell their superiors about potential safety problems for fear of retribution. Washington Post, "Metro Red Line crash was pivotal event for agency and other U.S. subway systems," 29 June 2019 Iranian officer could have approved anti-aircraft fire without the approval of his superiors. The Economist, "Donald Trump orders air strikes on Iran—then cancels them," 21 June 2019

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

19 Sep 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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