[ in-feer-ee-er ]
/ ɪnˈfɪər i ər /



a person inferior to another or others, as in rank or merit.
Also called subscript. Printing. a letter, number, or symbol written or printed low on a line of text.Compare superior(def 12).

Nearby words

  1. inference,
  2. inferencing,
  3. inferential,
  4. inferential statistics,
  5. inferentially,
  6. inferior alveolar nerve,
  7. inferior anastomotic vein,
  8. inferior artery of knee,
  9. inferior basal vein,
  10. inferior cerebellar peduncle

Origin of inferior

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin, equivalent to infer(us) lower (cf. under) + -ior comparative suffix

Related formsin·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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inferior

British Dictionary definitions for inferior


/ (ɪnˈfɪərɪə) /



an inferior person
printing an inferior character
Derived Formsinferiority (ɪnˌfɪərɪˈɒrɪtɪ), nouninferiorly, adverb

Word Origin for inferior

C15: from Latin: lower, from inferus low

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for inferior
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for inferior


[ ĭn-fîrē-ər ]


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.
Related formsin•fe′ri•ori•ty (-ôrĭ-tē) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.