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supercilious

[soo-per-sil-ee-uh s] /ˌsu pərˈsɪl i əs/
adjective
1.
haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; < Latin superciliōsus. See supercilium, -ous
Related forms
superciliously, adverb
superciliousness, noun
unsupercilious, adjective
unsuperciliously, adverb
unsuperciliousness, noun
Synonyms
arrogant, scornful.
Antonyms
humble.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for superciliousness
  • He combines a sort of feigned bonhomie with an air of profound, pervasive superciliousness.
  • Although the character emerges as mildly sympathetic, he remains remote behind a patina of chilly superciliousness.
  • It's sad, yet hardly a surprise, that such behavior could be taken as superciliousness.
  • Using guile and seduction, they managed to get humans to feed them, thus preserving their superciliousness without going hungry.
  • Away then with the apologies of the indolent and the superciliousness of the proud.
British Dictionary definitions for superciliousness

supercilious

/ˌsuːpəˈsɪlɪəs/
adjective
1.
displaying arrogant pride, scorn, or indifference
Derived Forms
superciliously, adverb
superciliousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin superciliōsus, from supercilium eyebrow; see superciliary
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 superciliousness

supercilious

adj.

1520s, from Latin superciliosus "haughty, arrogant," from supercilium "haughty demeanor, pride," literally "eyebrow" (via notion of raising the eyebrow to express haughtiness), from super "above" (see super-) + second element akin to cilium "eyelid," related to celare "to cover, hide," from PIE root *kel- "to conceal" (see cell).

Since cilium is more recent than supercilium, the former can be interpreted as a back-formation to the latter .... If indeed derived from the root *kel- 'to hide', we must still assume that a noun *kilium 'eyelid' existed, since the eyelid can 'hide' the eye, whereas the eyebrow does not have such a function. Thus, supercilium may originally have meant 'what is above the cilium'. [Michiel de Vaan, "Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages," Leiden, 2008]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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