- situated below some other organ.
- (of a calyx) inserted below the ovary.
- (of an ovary) having a superior calyx.
- lower in place or position; situated beneath another.
- toward the feet.Compare superior (def. 9).
Origin of inferior
OTHER WORDS FROM inferiorin·fe·ri·or·i·ty [in-feer-ee-awr-i-tee, -or-], /ɪnˌfɪər iˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/, nounin·fe·ri·or·ly, adverbqua·si-in·fe·ri·or, adjectivesub·in·fe·ri·or, adjective
Words nearby inferior
What does inferior mean?
Inferior most commonly means lesser or lower in quality or worth.
Inferior is commonly applied to things that are considered not as good as other similar things, especially products. However, inferior is also used to describe how some people are treated as lesser than others. In both cases, it is the opposite of superior, meaning better. Inferior is also used in more specific ways in sciences like anatomy, botany, and astronomy to describe a low position.
Example: The new, more expensive model is inferior to the old model in every way—even the packaging is not as good.
Where does inferior come from?
The specific meaning of inferior often depends on what it’s applied to. If a product is inferior to another one, it means it’s not as good. If a device has inferior battery life, it means its battery doesn’t last as long as other devices. If a team is said to have inferior talent, it means it has less talent than other teams. If a soldier’s rank is inferior to another soldier, it means it is lower.
When inferior is applied to people, especially classes or groups of people, it is being used in an offensive way. When people treat other people as inferior, it means they are judging them on some aspect of their identity that they consider lesser than their own. Racists treat people as inferior based on the color of their skin—and consider themselves superior.
When used in a scientific context, inferior often has a specific meaning related to the position of something. In anatomy, inferior is used to describe a body part that is located in a lower position or, even more specifically, toward the feet. In botany, it is used in much the same way, except of course that it refers to plant parts. In astronomy, describing something as inferior indicates that it is below the horizon.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to inferior?
- inferiority (noun)
- inferiorly (adjective)
- quasi-inferior (adjective)
- subinferior (adjective)
What are some synonyms for inferior?
What are some words that share a root or word element with inferior?
What are some words that often get used in discussing inferior?
How is inferior used in real life?
Inferior is commonly used in the comparison of two things to state that one of them is of lower quality than the other, such as by customers unhappy with their purchases. It is also used to describe how certain groups are treated as lesser than others.
Green apples are inferior to red apples
— Trev Exotic (@trevorwschnell) March 7, 2020
The Walking Dead is so inferior to Game Of Thrones
— garrett (@Maplestree16) September 1, 2017
In Nazi Germany, Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees that restricted all aspects of their public and private lives. Even from their earliest moments of life, Jews were labeled and treated as inferior by the Nazi regime. On the park bench is a J for Jew. #AskWhy pic.twitter.com/5o4grTh4ie
— US Holocaust Museum (@HolocaustMuseum) February 8, 2018
Try using inferior!
Is inferior used correctly in the following sentence?
If we keep releasing inferior products that aren’t up to our normal standards, our customers are going to notice.
How to use inferior in a sentence
I was not inadequate or inferior, but trying to fit into spaces that had not been created with people like me in mind.
The nub of her argument, whether acting for men or women plaintiffs, was that treating men and women differently under the law helped tokeep woman in her place, a place inferior to that occupied by men in our society.Ruth Bader Ginsburg Forged A New Place For Women In The Law And Society|LGBTQ-Editor|September 23, 2020|No Straight News
To some degree the AMP initiative is part of that, making sure that the mobile web experience isn’t completely inferior to the app experience.Is Apple getting real about search and about to take on Google?|Greg Sterling|August 27, 2020|Search Engine Land
After the census office used inferior paper cards that left fibers in the mercury, Hollerith required his customers to purchase his own high-quality cards.
Just because you live alone doesn’t mean that you’re somehow living an inferior life.Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”? (Ep. 407)|Stephen J. Dubner|February 27, 2020|Freakonomics
Some were blatantly inferior, he said, at times with metal shavings and burrs in the threads.
Think about this: music is the only branch of the entertainment world to embrace progressively inferior technologies.Five Lessons the Faltering Music Industry Could Learn From TV|Ted Gioia|August 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
While it came with multiple different preset control styles, it was still an inferior system.
People listen to it on tinny cellphone speakers that are entirely inferior to what they had in lo-tech times of yore.Comedy Is His Calling: The Brilliance of Billy Crystal|Tom Shales|April 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Adderall is an inferior drug, asserts Hart, because of its side effects.
Then we are again overgrown boys, beings of inferior race and incapable of being civilized.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
But closely allied to this subject, and not inferior to it in importance, stands that of Industrial Training.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
Dearer than the cigarritos are the cigars, which are not inferior to the best Havanna.
He is thought to be little inferior to Racine in the merit of his dramatic compositions.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
But, glad as was the schemer, his delight and sense of freedom were much inferior to those of his misguided and unlucky partner.
British Dictionary definitions for inferior
- orbiting or occurring between the sun and the earthan inferior planet; inferior conjunction
- lying below the horizon