One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others.‘a supercilious lady's maid’
arrogant, haughty, conceited, disdainful, overbearing, pompous, condescending, superior, patronizing, imperious, proud, lofty, lordly, snobbish, snobby, overweening, smugView synonyms
- ‘She in turn can no longer stand what she calls ‘his supercilious smirk.’’
- ‘The voice of the narrator is a somewhat supercilious one, observing and comparing the rites from the train window.’
- ‘It's awfully supercilious when it should be just silly.’
- ‘It's all beautifully acted, but I didn't care about Susan and John and their tremulous relationship, laden with supercilious, middlebrow significance.’
- ‘He unfolded the step-ladder, silently with a supercilious gesture of his hand declined my request to help him, and climbed right up to the roof.’
- ‘She's also married to a supercilious English barrister.’
- ‘It was a different man this time, but he had the same supercilious expression,’
- ‘So of course Karen and the other girls have been acting normal and even maybe a bit more supercilious at school, spreading rumors about Rebecca.’
- ‘And getting a reporter to print it without immediately following it with something supercilious is an even more awe-inspiring talent.’
- ‘He is dressed in a sleeveless sweater, striped shirt and tie, and gives the impression of being supercilious, humorless and disengaged.’
- ‘Darcy, though attracted to the next sister, the lively and spirited Elizabeth, greatly offends her by his supercilious behaviour at a ball.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In addition, he simply disliked her supercilious nature.’
Early 16th century: from Latin superciliosus ‘haughty’, from supercilium ‘eyebrow’.
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