There are 2 main definitions of superior in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

superior1

Syllabification: su·pe·ri·or
Pronunciation: /səˈpirēər
 
/

adjective

1Higher in rank, status, or quality: a superior officer it is superior to every other car on the road
More example sentences
  • They were certainly physically superior to me.
  • And sometimes, US drama is superior to the UK equivalent.
  • Determining which is the superior choice for residential applications depends on whom you ask.
Synonyms
higher-ranking, higher-level, senior, higher, higher-up
better, more expert, more skillful;
worthier, fitter, preferred
good-quality, high-quality, first-class, first-rate, top-quality;
choice, select, exclusive, prime, prize, fine, excellent, best, choicest, finest
high-class, upper-class, select, exclusive, upscale, upmarket, five-star, top-end, top-tier
informal classy, posh
1.1Of high standard or quality: superior malt whiskeys
More example sentences
  • Ask for a box rim flushing system over a standard rim flush for superior performance in a close coupled unit.
  • A lot of companies are interested in investing in Ireland - they have superior building systems and can provide a superior standard of service.
  • Krahling buys directly from a number of growers, each selected for the superior quality of his or her product.
Synonyms
high-quality;
finer, better, higher-grade, of higher quality, greater;
accomplished, expert
1.2Greater in size or power: deploying superior force
More example sentences
  • Now the subjects can be brought to fear not only the ruler's superior force, but also his supernatural powers.
  • Colonial conquest was not only the result of the power of superior arms and military organisation, but sustained and strengthened as much by the cultural technologies of rule.
  • Yet DeGaulle and a small group of partisans went underground and refused to accept the superior power of the German army.
1.3 [predicative] (superior to) Above yielding to or being influenced by: I felt superior to any accusation of anti-Semitism
More example sentences
  • Boycotting is making a statement that you do not value yourself as being superior to others, that workers are also people and deserve to be treated as such.
  • Or will he be as stubborn as a plutocrat in order to prove he is superior to her?
1.4Having or showing an overly high opinion of oneself; supercilious: that girl was frightfully superior
More example sentences
  • If you were a member, or aspiring member, of the latter group, you looked with superior amusement at the awkward wretches who were building a more curious identity with the help of drug culture.
  • People who try to pretend they're superior make it so much harder for those of us who really are.
  • He is equal parts superior, insecure, vain, snobbish, and fearful.
Synonyms
2chiefly Anatomy Further above or out; higher in position.
Example sentences
  • The upper horns (or superior cornua) meet the back of the hyoid bone, while the inferior cornua are attached to the side of the cricoid, forming a pivotal joint.
2.1(Of a letter, figure, or symbol) written or printed above the line.
2.2 Astronomy (Of a planet) having an orbit further from the sun than the earth’s.
2.3 Botany (Of the ovary of a flower) situated above the sepals and petals.

noun

Back to top  
1A person or thing superior to another in rank, status, or quality, especially a colleague in a higher position: obeying their superiors' orders
More example sentences
  • Whether from superiors, colleagues or focus testing, all feedback is invaluable - it is very easy to get too close to your work, and fresh perspectives can make a lot of difference.
  • The problem is compounded by his shyness, his fear of being spotted by a colleague or superior from the shipyard, his total lack of experience, and the fact that he really doesn't like cheese.
  • If the code is followed in your workplace, you should be made aware of allegations or complaints against you by a colleague or superior.
Synonyms
manager, chief, supervisor, senior, controller, foreman, authority figure
informal boss
1.1The head of a monastery or other religious institution.
Example sentences
  • It happened almost ten years ago when the religious superior of my Franciscan Friary advised the priests in the community that we would no longer assist in local churches on weekends since there were so few priests in the house.
  • By 1579, the Jesuit, Matteo Ricci, in a letter to his superiors, offered a more detailed description of the plant's cultivation and was the first to note a difference in brewing between the Chinese and the Japanese.
2 Printing A superior letter, figure, or symbol.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French superiour, from Latin superior, comparative of superus 'that is above', from super 'above'.

More
  • This came via Old French from Latin superior ‘that is higher’, from super ‘above’. The noun use meaning ‘person of higher rank’ is recorded from the late 15th century. Supreme (Late Middle English) is one step higher, from supremus ‘highest’.

Derivatives

superiorly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • Cindy glanced at Kaitlyn and smiled superiorly.
  • The right mainstem bronchus, more superiorly located, tends to be more vertically oriented, having a 155o angle of origin.
  • Her friend shrugged superiorly as they dropped into a seat.

Definition of superior in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of superior in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

Superior2

Syllabification: Su·pe·ri·or
Pronunciation: /səˈpirēər
 
/
A port city in northwestern Wisconsin, on Lake Superior, adjacent to Duluth in Minnesota; population 26,223 (est. 2008).

Definition of superior 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.