Definition of highbrow in English:

highbrow

adjective

derogatory
  • Scholarly or rarefied in taste.

    ‘innovatory art had a small, mostly highbrow following’
    • ‘Although the ballet may not receive great acclaim from highbrow ballet lovers, it has had 6,000 performances overseas and organizers are confident Chinese audiences will respond warmly.’
    • ‘I was going to say that it is not the type of book that I would normally have much time for, because it is published by Bloomsbury, and their stuff is usually a bit highbrow for me.’
    • ‘So, if you thought ‘Ulysses’ was only for highbrow academics, come along and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised!’
    • ‘It certainly isn't that we are particularly highbrow - I love intellectual stuff, but also Friends, chick lit and most films with Meg Ryan in.’
    • ‘This sort of evening is not for highbrow music lovers, but for people who enjoy listening to ‘normal’ Christmas carols.’
    • ‘But I'd have to say the blogosphere and Internet has given City Journal, a pretty highbrow magazine overflowing with thoughtful, long essays, a lot more readers.’
    • ‘He has inexpensive tastes, even if he likes highbrow culture, and has the common touch.’
    • ‘I hate this attitude that classical music or the arts have to be highbrow.’
    • ‘There are lots of people trying to dumb down, trying to make highbrow stuff more real, more visceral.’
    • ‘Philippe Garrel is also one of those figures: a director with fanatic followers in the most highbrow circles of film criticism.’
    • ‘Now a series of reports questioning his ability to deliver highbrow culture into the establishment may have damaged his reputation.’
    • ‘This year, the ceremony was broadcast live on arts channel BBC4, a channel so highbrow it has about six viewers.’
    • ‘That's obviously too highbrow a concept for them to comprehend.’
    • ‘With all due respect the Yeats Summer School is a bit highbrow, appeals only to the few, and is generally regarded as a tourist attraction.’
    • ‘I think that artists and the cultural sector can often seem unnecessarily highbrow.’
    • ‘The content, however, seems less highbrow than one might have feared.’
    • ‘Their literature sections are supposedly quite highbrow, but they still have lots of popular stuff.’
    • ‘People who think that he should make the International Festival more populist, as opposed to highbrow, have clearly missed the point.’
    • ‘Woke up this morning to a very highbrow debate on Radio National between George Monbiot, Christopher Hitchens and Lewis Lapham on the death of the Left.’
    • ‘In the decades that followed, it developed as a popular alternative to a highbrow arts festival: a jamboree of artistic experiment and innovation.’
    intellectual, scholarly, bookish, cultured, cultivated, academic, educated, studious, serious, donnish, bluestocking, well read, widely read, well informed, sophisticated, erudite, learned
    brainy, egghead
    lettered, clerkly
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noun

  • A highbrow person.

    • ‘In the 1999 series ‘Resolutions,’ Chicago continues to address the audience she has created of mainly middle- and working-class women, an audience easily dismissed by both highbrows and lowbrows.’
    intellectual, scholar, academic, bluestocking, bookish person, man of letters, woman of letters, don, thinker, pedant
    egghead, brain, bookworm
    brainbox, boffin
    brainiac, rocket scientist, brahmin
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Pronunciation:

highbrow

/ˈhīˌbrou/