[suh-peer-ee-er, soo-]



Origin of superior

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin, equivalent to super(us) situated above (adj. derivative of super; see super-) + -ior comparative suffix; see -er4
Related formssu·pe·ri·or·ly, adverbqua·si-su·pe·ri·or, adjectiveun·su·pe·ri·or, adjectiveun·su·pe·ri·or·ly, adverb

Synonyms for superior Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for superiorly

Historical Examples of superiorly

  • Before her was a mirror in which she glanced at her hair that had been superiorly tralala'd.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • Then the phone clicked most savagely and ominously and superiorly at the other end.

    Twelve Men

    Theodore Dreiser

  • In certain species these processes are attached only by their bases, and are separated from each other superiorly.

  • Black men were awed into helplessness by the superiorly armed mob.

  • And Eve looked at him superiorly, triumphant, sure of him, sure of her everlasting power over him!

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for superiorly



greater in quality, quantity, etc
of high or extraordinary worth, merit, etc
higher in rank or statusa superior tribunal
displaying a conscious sense of being above or better than others; supercilious
(often postpositive foll by to) not susceptible (to) or influenced (by)
placed higher up; situated further from the base
  1. (of a planet) having an orbit further from the sun than the orbit of the earth
  2. (of a conjunction) occurring when the sun lies between the earth and an inferior planet
(of a plant ovary) situated above the calyx and other floral parts
anatomy (of one part in relation to another) situated above or higher
printing (of a character) written or printed above the line; superscript


a person or thing of greater rank or quality
printing a character set in a superior position
(often capital) the head of a community in a religious order
Derived Formssuperioress, fem nsuperiority (suːˌpɪərɪˈɒrɪtɪ), nounsuperiorly, adverb

Word Origin for superior

C14: from Latin, from superus placed above, from super above


Superior should not be used with than: he is a better (not a superior) poet than his brother; his poetry is superior to (not superior than) his brother's



Lake Superior a lake in the N central US and S Canada: one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world and westernmost of the Great Lakes. Area: 82 362 sq km (31 800 sq miles)
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 superiorly



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

superiorly in Medicine




Higher than another in rank, station, or authority.
Situated above or directed upward.
Situated nearer the top of the head.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.