Definition of inferiority in English:



mass noun
  • The condition of being lower in status or quality than another or others.

    ‘they were exiled or degraded to a position of inferiority’
    ‘his sense of failure adds to his feelings of inferiority’
    • ‘At the helm for 11 games, he lost 10, drew one and was responsible for an infestation of inferiority in the dressing room.’
    • ‘But, then again, inferiority depends on where your benchmarks are and with whom you are comparing.’
    • ‘When the relationship between people and nature is discussed today, it is always humanity that bears the mark of moral inferiority.’
    • ‘He also lamented the existence of attitudes asserting inferiority toward anything from the West within the art world.’
    • ‘There is probably profound fear or inferiority in her, which could be why she hides herself behind those oversized glasses.’
    • ‘One of the central tenets of this ideology is the inherent inferiority and weakness of women.’
    • ‘Conversely, deprivation produces feelings of inferiority, weakness and helplessness.’
    • ‘The language of racial inferiority and exclusion was used as unselfconsciously in this debate as it was on the franchise question.’
    • ‘Nevertheless the imperfection inherent in its inferiority can be overcome as it returns towards its cause.’
    • ‘And it's always triggered by a feeling of inferiority and it starts with a sense of failure.’
    • ‘In a condition of inferiority and objectification, submission is usually essential for survival.’
    • ‘In the bush, labouring as a mark of social inferiority disappeared.’
    • ‘Aspiration for honour and prosperity came to be regarded as a sort of undesirable worldly weaknesses and inferiority of mind.’
    • ‘Still, the sense of inferiority drummed into me from my contact with the internet may well lead me to strive to become a more fully rounded individual.’
    • ‘Nurses assumed this position of unquestioning inferiority both in their actions and their beliefs.’
    • ‘However, it wasn't just physical inferiority that marked us out as different to the current generation of A-level students.’
    • ‘However, from this position of avowed inferiority, could I possibly make two tiny observations?’
    • ‘It is an understanding that carried New Zealand to a win when numerical inferiority and English courage suggested it should have been a loss.’
    • ‘Despite their inferiority, York could feel aggrieved about Percy Park's third try which followed a blatantly forward pass.’
    • ‘As has been suggested, this discourse seems to have arisen out of a sense of weakness or inferiority on the part of the English.’
    lowliness, inferior status, inferior position, secondary status, secondary position, subordination, subservience, subjection, servitude
    shoddiness, second-rateness, substandardness, unfitness, unsatisfactoriness, poorness, cheapness, mediocrity, indifference
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: probably from medieval Latin inferioritas, from Latin inferior ‘lower’.