- lower in station, rank, degree, or grade (often followed by to): a rank inferior to colonel.
- lower in place or position; closer to the bottom or base: descending into the inferior regions of the earth.
- of comparatively low grade; poor in quality; substandard: an inferior product.
- less important, valuable, or worthy: B+ bonds are inferior to AAA bonds.
- acting or performing in a way that is comparatively poor or mediocre: an inferior observer of human nature.
- situated below some other organ.
- (of a calyx) inserted below the ovary.
- (of an ovary) having a superior calyx.
- Anatomy. (of an organ or part)
- lower in place or position; situated beneath another.
- toward the feet.Compare superior(def 9).
- Astronomy. lying below the horizon: the inferior part of a meridian.
- Printing. written or printed low on a line of text, as the “2” in H2O; subscript.Compare superior(def 10).
Origin of inferior
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for inferior
While it came with multiple different preset control styles, it was still an inferior system.Video Games Go Wild for Reboots
July 6, 2014
Adderall is an inferior drug, asserts Hart, because of its side effects.Why We Need Medical Meth + Cocaine
Valerie Vande Panne
February 22, 2014
The senator has chosen a new, inferior lawyer to fight the Surveillance State.Unemployed Ken Cuccinelli Finds a Job With Rand Paul Suing Obama
February 13, 2014
Vanilla Sky is inferior, and so is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.What Asian Film Remakes Like ‘Oldboy’ Get Wrong
November 26, 2013
The older group smoked more, had more strokes and heart attacks and in all ways was inferior, resulting in a skewing of the data.Up to Speed: The Cholesterol Mess
November 19, 2013
With his inferior he will not be intimate, nor towards him will he be "proudly condescending."
English cooking is inferior to French cooking: English organisation is inferior to German organisation.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
His friend passes for an inferior officer; upon a footing of freedom with him.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
Use no flour but the best superfine; if the flour is of inferior.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
The inferior clergy were by no means so lenient as the Bishop.The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
- lower in value or quality
- lower in rank, position, or status; subordinate
- not of the best; mediocre; commonplace
- lower in position; situated beneath
- (of a plant ovary) enclosed by and fused with the receptacle so that it is situated below the other floral parts
- orbiting or occurring between the sun and the earthan inferior planet; inferior conjunction
- lying below the horizon
- printing (of a character) printed at the foot of an ordinary character, as the 2 in H 2 O
- an inferior person
- printing an inferior character
Word Origin and History for inferior
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."
"person inferior to another in rank, etc.," early 15c., from inferior (adj.).
- Low or lower in order, degree, or rank.
- Low or lower in quality, value, or estimation.
- Second-rate; poor.
- Situated below or directed downward.
- In human anatomy, situated nearer the soles in relation to a reference point.