supercilious 1520s, from L. superciliosus "haughty, arrogant," from supercilium "haughty demeanor, pride," lit. "eyebrow" (via notion of raising the eyebrow to express haughtiness), from super "above" (see SUPER- (Cf. super-)) + cilium "eyelid," related to celare "to cover, hide," from PIE root *kel- "to conceal" (see CELL (Cf. cell)).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Supercilious — Su per*cil i*ous, a. [L. superciliosus, fr. supercilium an eyebrow, pride; super over, + cilium an eyelid; probably akin to celare to conceal. Cf. {Conceal}.] Lofty with pride; haughty; dictatorial; overbearing; arrogant; as, a supercilious… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • supercilious — I adjective arrogant, assumptive, bumptious, cavalier, condescending, contemptuous, contumelious, derisive, dictatorial, disdainful, disrespectful, domineering, egotistic, fastidiosus, haughty, imperious, insolent, intolerant, irreverent, lofty,… …   Law dictionary

  • supercilious — disdainful, overbearing, arrogant, haughty, *proud, lordly, insolent Analogous words: vain, vainglorious (see under PRIDE): contemptuous, scornful (see corresponding nouns under DESPISE vb) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • supercilious — [adj] arrogant, stuck up bossy, cavalier, cocky*, condescending, contemptuous, disdainful, egotistic, haughty, high andmighty*, imperious, insolent, lofty, nervy*, overbearing, patronizing, proud, putting on airs*, scornful, snobby, superior,… …   New thesaurus

  • supercilious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having an air of contemptuous superiority. DERIVATIVES superciliously adverb superciliousness noun. ORIGIN Latin superciliosus haughty , from supercilium eyebrow …   English terms dictionary

  • supercilious — [so͞o΄pərsil′ē əs] adj. [L superciliosus < supercilium, eyebrow, hence (with reference to facial expression with raised brows) haughtiness < super , above + cilium, eyelid (see CILIA)] disdainful or contemptuous; full of or characterized by …   English World dictionary

  • supercilious — [[t]su͟ːpə(r)sɪ̱liəs[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you say that someone is supercilious, you disapprove of them because they behave in a way that shows they think they are better than other people. His manner is supercilious and arrogant...… …   English dictionary

  • supercilious — n. supercilious about * * * [ˌs(j)uːpə sɪlɪəs] supercilious about …   Combinatory dictionary

  • supercilious — su|per|cil|i|ous [ ,supər sıliəs ] adjective a supercilious person behaves as if they think they are better or more important than everyone else: a supercilious manner/smile/attitude ╾ su|per|cil|i|ous|ly adverb ╾ su|per|cil|i|ous|ness noun… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • supercilious — adjective behaving as if you think that other people are less important than you; haughty: She s got a supercilious way of speaking that makes me want to scream! | a supercilious smile superciliously adverb superciliousness noun (U) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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