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  • Adj.

supercilious

soo-per-SIL-ee-uhs

Context
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Lana was a supercilious or stuck-up young woman who believed that everyone should cater to her every wish. She behaved in a rude, proud, and supercilious fashion towards her companions by leaving restaurant checks for them alone to pay. Lana’s supercilious, self-centered, and superior airs annoyed so many that she soon was shunned by all of her acquaintances.

Quiz: What does it mean when someone is described as supercilious?

  • They are the most popular person in a group.
  • They are silently observing what’s going on around them.
  • They act as if they are superior to others.

Memory Hook
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Superman's Silly for Us! When I said that I liked Superman, Janie raised her eyebrow in a supercilious way and said to all our friends that Superman is silly for us and walked away, making me feel silly and depressed by her supercilious way of making me look bad.

Examples
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  • He was one of those supercilious striplings who give you the impression that you went to the wrong school and that your clothes don't fit. — P.G. Wodehouse, English author and humorist P
  • There’s also an extended cameo from Ryan Reynolds, an actor whose faintly supercilious good looks have graced innumerable dumb slacker comedies, including _Van Wilder_, _Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle_ and _Waiting._ —CNN
  • Star Kelsey Grammer might not be the most polished singer, but his charming delivery of “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs,” played over the closing credits, gives a show about two supercilious psychiatrists (Frasier also a talk radio star) a surprising Everyman bent. —Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Daniel Mooney as Louis gives a fascinating, if one-dimensional, portrait of a supercilious mock tyrant saved from silliness by a hint of self-ridicule. —The Christian Science Monitor

Word Ingredients
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super- over, above
cili eyebrow
-ous possessing the nature of

When someone is being supercilious in a conversation, he is raising his “eyebrow over” another in a superior attitude since he thinks he’s better than the person with whom he is conversing.

Word Constellation
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Supercilious