Share this entry

Share this page

supercilious

Line breaks: super|cili¦ous
Pronunciation: /suːpəˈsɪlɪəs
 
, sjuː-/

Definition of supercilious in English:

adjective

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.
Synonyms
pretentious, affected;
scornful, mocking, sneering, scoffing

Origin

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

Derivatives

superciliously

1
adverb
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.

superciliousness

2
noun
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.

Definition of supercilious in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
noun
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words