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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

inferior

[in-feer-ee-er] /ɪnˈfɪər i ər/
adjective
1.
lower in station, rank, degree, or grade (often followed by to):
a rank inferior to colonel.
2.
lower in place or position; closer to the bottom or base:
descending into the inferior regions of the earth.
3.
of comparatively low grade; poor in quality; substandard:
an inferior product.
4.
less important, valuable, or worthy:
B+ bonds are inferior to AAA bonds.
5.
acting or performing in a way that is comparatively poor or mediocre:
an inferior observer of human nature.
6.
Botany.
  1. situated below some other organ.
  2. (of a calyx) inserted below the ovary.
  3. (of an ovary) having a superior calyx.
7.
Anatomy.
  1. lower in place or position; situated beneath another.
  2. toward the feet.
    Compare superior (def 9).
8.
Astronomy. lying below the horizon:
the inferior part of a meridian.
9.
Printing. written or printed low on a line of text, as the “2” in H 2 O; subscript.
Compare superior (def 10).
noun
10.
a person inferior to another or others, as in rank or merit.
11.
Also called subscript. Printing. a letter, number, or symbol written or printed low on a line of text.
Compare superior (def 12).
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin, equivalent to infer(us) lower (cf. under) + -ior comparative suffix
Related forms
inferiority
[in-feer-ee-awr-i-tee, -or-] /ɪnˌfɪər iˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/ (Show IPA),
noun
inferiorly, adverb
quasi-inferior, adjective
subinferior, adjective
Synonyms
3. mediocre, low-quality, second-rate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inferiority
  • Eddie's deficiency as a tragic character is not a matter of social inferiority.
  • Off course no inferiority complex was apparent in this thread.
  • Unless you admit inferiority and the inability to think.
  • Quite often, a moral higher ground is imagined by those trying to hide inferiority complexes.
  • Welsh suffered from the same inferiority complex but managed to overcome it.
  • But that is at the same time a measure of its inferiority.
  • Please put inferiority and superiority complexes into perspectives.
  • The second generation was born and went gone to school here, and they suffer from a quite serious inferiority complex.
  • Under all the oversell, an inferiority complex drove him.
  • Clear inferiority and limited education and experience for starters.
British Dictionary definitions for inferiority

inferior

/ɪnˈfɪərɪə/
adjective
1.
lower in value or quality
2.
lower in rank, position, or status; subordinate
3.
not of the best; mediocre; commonplace
4.
lower in position; situated beneath
5.
(of a plant ovary) enclosed by and fused with the receptacle so that it is situated below the other floral parts
6.
(astronomy)
  1. orbiting or occurring between the sun and the earth: an inferior planet, inferior conjunction
  2. lying below the horizon
7.
(printing) (of a character) printed at the foot of an ordinary character, as the 2 in H2O
noun
8.
an inferior person
9.
(printing) an inferior character
Derived Forms
inferiority (ɪnˌfɪərɪˈɒrɪtɪ) noun
inferiorly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin: lower, from inferus low
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inferiority
n.

1590s, probably from Medieval Latin *inferioritas; see inferior + -ity. Inferiority complex first attested 1922.

The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority. [John C. Calhoun]

inferior

adj.

early 15c., of land, "low, lower," from Latin inferior "lower, further down" (also used figuratively), comparative of inferus (adj.) "that is below or beneath," from infra "below" (see infra-). Meaning "lower in degree, rank, or importance" is from 1530s; also in an absolute sense, "of low quality or rank."

n.

"person inferior to another in rank, etc.," early 15c., from inferior (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inferiority in Medicine

inferior in·fe·ri·or (ĭn-fēr'ē-ər)
adj.

  1. Low or lower in order, degree, or rank.

  2. Low or lower in quality, value, or estimation.

  3. Second-rate; poor.

  4. Situated below or directed downward.

  5. In human anatomy, situated nearer the soles in relation to a reference point.


in·fe'ri·or'i·ty (-ôr'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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17
17
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