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
- ‘The voice of the narrator is a somewhat supercilious one, observing and comparing the rites from the train window.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Yeah, I kinda get irritated with people that seem supercilious about not having a TV.’
- ‘It's all beautifully acted, but I didn't care about Susan and John and their tremulous relationship, laden with supercilious, middlebrow significance.’
- ‘In addition, he simply disliked her supercilious nature.’
- ‘She's also married to a supercilious English barrister.’
- ‘And getting a reporter to print it without immediately following it with something supercilious is an even more awe-inspiring talent.’
- ‘Darcy, though attracted to the next sister, the lively and spirited Elizabeth, greatly offends her by his supercilious behaviour at a ball.’
- ‘He is dressed in a sleeveless sweater, striped shirt and tie, and gives the impression of being supercilious, humorless and disengaged.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It's awfully supercilious when it should be just silly.’
- ‘She in turn can no longer stand what she calls ‘his supercilious smirk.’’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It was a different man this time, but he had the same supercilious expression,’
Early 16th century: from Latin superciliosus ‘haughty’, from supercilium ‘eyebrow’.
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