inferior

[in-feer-ee-er]

adjective

noun

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).

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

Synonyms for inferior

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for inferiority

inadequacy, inability, weakness, lack, mediocrity

Examples from the Web for inferiority

Contemporary Examples of inferiority

Historical Examples of inferiority


British Dictionary definitions for inferiority

inferior

adjective

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
astronomy
  1. orbiting or occurring between the sun and the earthan inferior planet; inferior conjunction
  2. lying below the horizon
printing (of a character) printed at the foot of an ordinary character, as the 2 in H 2 O

noun

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 inferiority
n.

1590s, probably from Medieval Latin *inferioritas; see inferior + -ity. Inferiority complex first attested 1922.

The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority. [John C. Calhoun]

inferior

n.

"person inferior to another in rank, etc.," early 15c., from inferior (adj.).

inferior

adj.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inferiority in Medicine

inferior

[ĭn-fîrē-ər]

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.
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.