Definition of supercilious in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌso͞opərˈsilēəs/


Behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others: a supercilious lady’s maid
More example sentences
  • It's all beautifully acted, but I didn't care about Susan and John and their tremulous relationship, laden with supercilious, middlebrow significance.
  • Yeah, I kinda get irritated with people that seem supercilious about not having a TV.
  • It is a fellow wine-lover who enthusiastically wants you to try something they have found, rather than a supercilious guardian of stuffy good taste.
arrogant, haughty, conceited, disdainful, overbearing, pompous, condescending, superior, patronizing, imperious, proud, snobbish, snobby, smug, scornful, sneering
informal hoity-toity, high and mighty, uppity, snooty, stuck-up, snotty, snot-nosed, jumped up, too big for one's britches



Pronunciation: /ˌso͞opərˈsilēəslē/
Example sentences
  • I just pursed my lips and smiled superciliously ahead, hoping my contempt would irritate him further.
  • He looked at me skeptically and asked rather superciliously me if I had ever bartended.
  • He turned to glance at me and then superciliously smiled.


Pronunciation: /ˌso͞opərˈsilēəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • Men want to take the joy out of wine, and replace it with snobbery, superciliousness, and another opportunity for sexism.
  • That, together with the superciliousness of his manner, turned him into an ‘authority’ even though he hadn't entered, much less lived in, the Arab world in decades.
  • The superciliousness of the educated knows no end, and may even betray a final anxiety.


Early 16th century: from Latin superciliosus 'haughty', from supercilium 'eyebrow'.

  • A supercilious person has an air of contemptuous superiority. One way they might show this is by raising their eyebrows in disdain—a clue to the word's origin. Supercilium, the Latin source of the English word, means ‘eyebrow’.

Words that rhyme with supercilious

bilious, punctilious

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: su·per·cil·i·ous

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