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 Dictionary entry overview: What does supercilious mean? 

SUPERCILIOUS (adjective)
  The adjective SUPERCILIOUS has 2 senses:

1. having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
2. expressive of contempt

  Familiarity information: SUPERCILIOUS used as an adjective is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

SUPERCILIOUS (adjective)

Sense 1supercilious [BACK TO TOP]


Having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy


supercilious; sniffy; prideful; swaggering; haughty; disdainful; lordly

Context examples:

some economists are disdainful of their colleagues in other social disciplines / haughty aristocrats / his lordly manners were offensive / walked with a prideful swagger / very sniffy about breaches of etiquette / his mother eyed my clothes with a supercilious air / a more swaggering mood than usual


proud (feeling self-respect or pleasure in something by which you measure your self-worth; or being a reason for pride)

Sense 2supercilious [BACK TO TOP]


Expressive of contempt


sneering; snide; supercilious

Context examples:

curled his lip in a supercilious smile / spoke in a sneering jeering manner / makes many a sharp comparison but never a mean or snide one


uncomplimentary (tending to (or intended to) detract or disparage)

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