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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective disdainful differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of disdainful are arrogant, haughty, insolent, lordly, overbearing, proud, and supercilious. While all these words mean "showing scorn for inferiors," disdainful suggests a more active and openly scornful superciliousness.

disdainful of their social inferiors

When might arrogant be a better fit than disdainful?

The synonyms arrogant and disdainful are sometimes interchangeable, but arrogant implies a claiming for oneself of more consideration or importance than is warranted.

a conceited and arrogant executive

Where would haughty be a reasonable alternative to disdainful?

While in some cases nearly identical to disdainful, haughty suggests a consciousness of superior birth or position.

a haughty aristocrat

In what contexts can insolent take the place of disdainful?

Although the words insolent and disdainful have much in common, insolent implies contemptuous haughtiness.

ignored by an insolent waiter

When can lordly be used instead of disdainful?

The words lordly and disdainful can be used in similar contexts, but lordly implies pomposity or an arrogant display of power.

a lordly condescension

When could overbearing be used to replace disdainful?

The meanings of overbearing and disdainful largely overlap; however, overbearing suggests a tyrannical manner or an intolerable insolence.

an overbearing supervisor

When would proud be a good substitute for disdainful?

In some situations, the words proud and disdainful are roughly equivalent. However, proud may suggest an assumed superiority or loftiness.

too proud to take charity

When is supercilious a more appropriate choice than disdainful?

The words supercilious and disdainful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, supercilious implies a cool, patronizing haughtiness.

an aloof and supercilious manner

Thesaurus Entries Near disdainful

Cite this Entry

“Disdainful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/disdainful. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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