supercilious

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj supercilious expressive of contempt "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"
    • adj supercilious having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy "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"- W.L.Shirer"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Supercilious Lofty with pride; haughty; dictatorial; overbearing; arrogant; as, a supercilious officer; asupercilious air; supercilious behavior.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • supercilious Lofty with pride; haughtily contemptuous; overbearing.
    • supercilious Manifesting haughtiness, or proceeding from it; overbearing; arrogant: as, a supercilious air; supercilious behavior.
    • supercilious Synonyms Disdainful, contemptuous, overweening, lordly, consequential. See arrogance.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Supercilious sū-pėr-sil′i-us lofty with pride: disdainful: dictatorial: overbearing
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. superciliosus, fr. supercilium, an eyebrow, pride; super, over, + cilium, an eyelid; probably akin to celare, to conceal. Cf. Conceal
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. superciliosussupercilium, an eyebrow—super, above, cilium, eyelid.

Usage

In literature:

I do think that almost any treatment is too good for such a cold-blooded, supercilious old Dragon.
"Set in Silver" by Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
Oh, how superciliously this fellow then looked at me!
"Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia" by L. Mühlbach,
They are utterly lacking in personal dignity, and substitute for that quality a supercilious hauteur.
"Lights and Shadows of New York Life" by James D. McCabe
The photographs he examined with supercilious curiosity.
"Brood of the Witch-Queen" by Sax Rohmer
His very chirp has in it something aristocratic and supercilious.
"Debit and Credit" by Gustav Freytag
We supercilious civilized folk laugh at the odd dress {69} of the savage; but it was exactly adapted to the need.
"Vikings of the Pacific" by Agnes C. Laut
He feared that Fraeulein Elsa might reflect sometimes the feeling of unfriendliness which he was aware of in the supercilious Rudi.
"Villa Elsa" by Stuart Henry
He acknowledged the introductions to the boys superciliously, and barely nodded to Ted.
"Ted Strong in Montana" by Edward C. Taylor
Mr. Consul-General Laurella smiled superciliously, and then said, 'But the question is, what is the Eastern question?
"Tancred" by Benjamin Disraeli
Then his superciliousness would, if not vanish, at least subside.
"The Young Duke" by Benjamin Disraeli
Indeed, until then they had always smiled in a very supercilious manner at even the smallest mention of a ghost.
"Scottish Ghost Stories" by Elliott O'Donnell
When the young man entered the tent he stood over them for a moment with a supercilious grin on his face.
"Boy Scouts in the Philippines" by G. Harvey Ralphson
Mr. Mole smiled superciliously at the question.
"Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks" by Bracebridge Hemyng
The "old school" actor was rather supercilious in his manner, and this was resented by some of the cowboys, who thought him "stuck up.
"The Moving Picture Girls at Rocky Ranch" by Laura Lee Hope
Carmichael has kept the sermon unto this day, and as often as he finds himself growing hard or supercilious, reads it from beginning to end.
"Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers" by Ian Maclaren
Usually, superciliousness has not disturbed me.
"The Plum Tree" by David Graham Phillips
However I suppose he growls superciliously at my letter, which was necessarily rather a long one.
"Letters of Edward FitzGerald in two volumes, Vol. 1" by Edward FitzGerald
For these, and nobler numbers can Ne'er please the supercilious man.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
For once, there was no superciliousness in his voice.
"Warning from the Stars" by Ron Cocking
Presently Dobyans Verinder dropped in with an empty creel and opened wide supercilious eyes at sight of Jack.
"The Highgrader" by William MacLeod Raine
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In poetry:

The time is come for truer things,
When honour, love, and all beside,
Refused to supercilious pride,
Are paid to peasants as to kings.
"True Nobility" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
RALPH. Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl!
Vain man, suppress that supercilious sneer,
For I have dared to love your matchless girl,
A fact well known to all my messmates here!
"HMS Pinafore: Act II" by William Schwenck Gilbert
COUNSEL. See my interesting client,
Victim of a heartless wile!
See the traitor all defiant
Wear a supercilious smile!
Sweetly smiled my client on him,
Coyly woo'd and gently won him.
"Trial" by William Schwenck Gilbert
On the morrow through the city we sauntered, arm in arm;
I strove to do the cicerone—my style was grand and calm.
I showed him all the lions—but I noted with despair
His smile, his drawl, his eye-glass, and his supercilious air.
"My Cousin From Pall Mall" by Arthur Patchett Martin
My young bright life seemed blasted, my hopes were dead and gone,
No blighted lover ever felt so gloomy and forlorn;
I’d reached the suicidal stage—and the reason of it all,
This supercilious London swell, his eye-glass and his drawl.
"My Cousin From Pall Mall" by Arthur Patchett Martin

In news:

The Great Peasant Revolt of 2010 The president's supercilious modesty is getting him into trouble.
Sommeliers were few and far between, but their reputation was fearsome: supercilious snobs who would sneer at you as they ripped you off.
Sommeliers were scarce, but their reputation was fearsome: supercilious snobs who would sneer at you as they ripped you off.
Smite supercilious snobs while drinking wine and taking in the symphony.
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