- (of a planet) having an orbit further from the sun than the orbit of the earth
- (of a conjunction) occurring when the sun lies between the earth and an inferior planet
Word Origin for superior
late 14c., "higher in position," from Old French superior, from Latin superiorem (nominative superior) "higher," comparative of superus "situated above, upper," from super "above, over" (see super-). Meaning "higher in rank or dignity" is attested from late 15c.; sense of "of a higher nature or character" is attested from 1530s. Original sense was preserved more strongly in French (cf. les étages supérieur "the upper stories"), and in Lake Superior, a loan-translation of French Lac Supérieur, literally "upper lake" (it has the highest elevation of the five Great Lakes).