Origin of supercilious
Examples from the Web for supercilious
Too often, it's just our supercilious attitude to this thing called relief.The Pointlessness of Some Disaster Charity After the Indian Floods|Dilip D’Souza|June 26, 2013|DAILY BEAST
To point that out, of course, will only strengthen her sense of being persecuted by supercilious elites.
Gore comes off as a supercilious grandstander who gets swatted away dismissively by the brilliant Bill Clinton.
He had it in his power to wreck the husband of every arrogant, supercilious dame in the entire clique!Carmen Ariza|Charles Francis Stocking
We are always meekly asked, even by the most supercilious, to overlook shortcomings, and condone.The Book of Khalid|Ameen Rihani
Then the onrush of horror was checked abruptly as she saw the supercilious lad regarding her frenzy calmly.The Cup of Fury|Rupert Hughes
Ever since his arrival Hardy Atkins had ignored him, glancing at him furtively or gazing past him with supercilious scorn.Bat Wing Bowles|Dane Coolidge
“He will afford me his supercilious pity and contempt,” muttered Julian.Digby Heathcote|W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for supercilious
Word Origin for supercilious
Word Origin and History for supercilious
1520s, from Latin superciliosus "haughty, arrogant," from supercilium "haughty demeanor, pride," literally "eyebrow" (via notion of raising the eyebrow to express haughtiness), from super "above" (see super-) + second element akin to cilium "eyelid," related to celare "to cover, hide," from PIE root *kel- "to conceal" (see cell).
Since cilium is more recent than supercilium, the former can be interpreted as a back-formation to the latter .... If indeed derived from the root *kel- 'to hide', we must still assume that a noun *kilium 'eyelid' existed, since the eyelid can 'hide' the eye, whereas the eyebrow does not have such a function. Thus, supercilium may originally have meant 'what is above the cilium'. [Michiel de Vaan, "Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages," Leiden, 2008]