su·per·cil·i·ous (so͞o′pər-sĭl’ē-əs)
adj. Feeling or showing haughty disdain. See Synonyms at ARROGANT(Cf. ↑arrogant).
[Latin superciliōsus, from supercilium, eyebrow, pride : super-, super- + cilium, lower eyelid; see kel-1.]
su′per·cil’i·ous·ly adv. su′per·cil’i·ous·ness n.
Word History: The English word supercilious ultimately derives from the Latin word supercilium, "eyebrow." Supercilium came to mean "the eyebrow as used in frowning and expressing sternness, gravity, or haughtiness." From there it developed the senses "stern looks, severity, haughty demeanor, pride." The derived Latin adjective superciliōsus meant "full of stern or disapproving looks, censorious, haughty, disdainful," as it has since it entered English as supercilious in the 1500s. The super- in the Latin word supercilium means "above," and cilium was the Latin word for "eyelid." In many of the Romance languages, this word developed into the word for "eyelash." This development is probably reflected in the scientific use in English of the word cilium, whose plural is cilia. Cilia are the minute hairlike appendages of cells or unicellular organisms that move in unison in order to bring about the movement of the cell or of the surrounding medium.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • superciliousness — index disdain, disrespect, pride Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • superciliousness — supercilious ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having an air of contemptuous superiority. DERIVATIVES superciliously adverb superciliousness noun. ORIGIN Latin superciliosus haughty , from supercilium eyebrow …   English terms dictionary

  • Superciliousness — Supercilious Su per*cil i*ous, a. [L. superciliosus, fr. supercilium an eyebrow, pride; super over, + cilium an eyelid; probably akin to celare to conceal. Cf. {Conceal}.] Lofty with pride; haughty; dictatorial; overbearing; arrogant; as, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • superciliousness — noun see supercilious …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • superciliousness — See superciliously. * * * …   Universalium

  • superciliousness — noun The state or quality of being supercilious …   Wiktionary

  • superciliousness — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun The quality of being arrogant: arrogance, haughtiness, hauteur, insolence, loftiness, lordliness, overbearingness, presumption, pride, pridefulness, proudness, superiority. See ATTITUDE …   English dictionary for students

  • superciliousness — su·per cil·i·ous·ness || ‚suːpÉ™(r)sɪlɪəsnɪs n. arrogance, pride, haughtiness …   English contemporary dictionary

  • superciliousness — su·per·cil·ious·ness …   English syllables

  • superciliousness — See: supercilious …   English dictionary

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