Word of the Day

Monday, September 01, 2003


\soo-puhr-SIL-ee-uhs\ , adjective;
Disdainfully arrogant; haughty.
The girl has a supercilious expression, and seems to be looking down her nose at the camera.
-- Annie Dillard, For the Time Being
Russian emissaries used to be received at European courts and chanceries with a supercilious courtesy as representatives of a lower social and political culture seeking to be patronized by European elites.
-- Abba Eban, Diplomacy for the Next Century
Cooper and Trollope arrived like avenging angels at the Guardian Hay Festival to put snobs and supercilious critics in their place.
-- Fiachra Gibbons, "Queens of the bonkbuster and Aga saga defend the art - and heart - of their fiction", The Guardian, May 30, 2003
Will I be interviewed by a supercilious don who will make fun of my accent?
-- Donald MacLeod, "Passing the Oxford test", The Guardian, August 19, 2002
Supercilious is from Latin superciliosus, from supercilium, "an eyebrow, arrogance," from super, "over" + cilium, "an eyelid."
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