Inferior meaning

Inferior meaning DEFAULT


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[ in-feer-ee-er ]

/ ɪnˈfɪər i ər /


lower in station, rank, degree, or grade (often followed by to): a rank inferior to colonel.

lower in place or position; closer to the bottom or base: descending into the inferior regions of the earth.

of comparatively low grade; poor in quality; substandard: an inferior product.

less important, valuable, or worthy: B+ bonds are inferior to AAA bonds.

acting or performing in a way that is comparatively poor or mediocre: an inferior observer of human nature.

  1. situated below some other organ.
  2. (of a calyx) inserted below the ovary.
  3. (of an ovary) having a superior calyx.
Anatomy. (of an organ or part)
  1. lower in place or position; situated beneath another.
  2. toward the feet.Compare superior (def. 9).

Astronomy. lying below the horizon: the inferior part of a meridian.

Printing. written or printed low on a line of text, as the “2” in H2O; subscript.Compare superior (def. 10).


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).



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of inferior

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin, equivalent to infer(us) “lower” (cf. under) + -ior comparative suffix


in·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

Words nearby inferior

infer, inference, inferencing, inferential, inferential statistics, inferior, inferior alveolar nerve, inferior anastomotic vein, inferior artery of knee, inferior basal vein, inferior cerebellar peduncle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does inferior mean?

Inferior most commonly means lesser or lower in quality or worth.

Inferior is commonly applied to things that are considered not as good as other similar things, especially products. However, inferior is also used to describe how some people are treated as lesser than others. In both cases, it is the opposite of superior, meaning better. Inferior is also used in more specific ways in sciences like anatomy, botany, and astronomy to describe a low position.

Example: The new, more expensive model is inferior to the old model in every way—even the packaging is not as good.

Where does inferior come from?

The first records of inferior come from the 1400s. It derives from the Latin inferus, meaning “low.” The suffix -ior is used to form comparative adjectives (as in ulterior and junior).

The specific meaning of inferior often depends on what it’s applied to. If a product is inferior to another one, it means it’s not as good. If a device has inferior battery life, it means its battery doesn’t last as long as other devices. If a team is said to have inferior talent, it means it has less talent than other teams. If a soldier’s rank is inferior to another soldier, it means it is lower.

When inferior is applied to people, especially classes or groups of people, it is being used in an offensive way. When people treat other people as inferior, it means they are judging them on some aspect of their identity that they consider lesser than their own. Racists treat people as inferior based on the color of their skin—and consider themselves superior.

When used in a scientific context, inferior often has a specific meaning related to the position of something. In anatomy, inferior is used to describe a body part that is located in a lower position or, even more specifically, toward the feet. In botany, it is used in much the same way, except of course that it refers to plant parts. In astronomy, describing something as inferior indicates that it is below the horizon.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to inferior?

  • inferiority (noun)
  • inferiorly (adjective)
  • quasi-inferior (adjective)
  • subinferior (adjective)

What are some synonyms for inferior?

What are some words that share a root or word element with inferior

What are some words that often get used in discussing inferior?

How is inferior used in real life?

Inferior is commonly used in the comparison of two things to state that one of them is of lower quality than the other, such as by customers unhappy with their purchases. It is also used to describe how certain groups are treated as lesser than others.



Try using inferior!

Is inferior used correctly in the following sentence?

If we keep releasing inferior products that aren’t up to our normal standards, our customers are going to notice.

Words related to inferior

lesser, secondary, lousy, substandard, indifferent, mediocre, lower, bottom, minus, second, subordinate, subsidiary, peon, menial, junior, minor, junk, lemon, worse, fair

How to use inferior in a sentence

  • I was not inadequate or inferior, but trying to fit into spaces that had not been created with people like me in mind.

    A front-row seat to #BlackLivesMatter|Katie McLean|October 20, 2020|MIT Technology Review

  • The nub of her argument, whether acting for men or women plaintiffs, was that treating men and women differently under the law helped tokeep woman in her place, a place inferior to that occupied by men in our society.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg Forged A New Place For Women In The Law And Society|LGBTQ-Editor|September 23, 2020|No Straight News

  • To some degree the AMP initiative is part of that, making sure that the mobile web experience isn’t completely inferior to the app experience.

    Is Apple getting real about search and about to take on Google?|Greg Sterling|August 27, 2020|Search Engine Land

  • After the census office used inferior paper cards that left fibers in the mercury, Hollerith required his customers to purchase his own high-quality cards.

    Punching in|Tate Ryan-Mosley|August 19, 2020|MIT Technology Review

  • Just because you live alone doesn’t mean that you’re somehow living an inferior life.

    Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”? (Ep. 407)|Stephen J. Dubner|February 27, 2020|Freakonomics

  • Some were blatantly inferior, he said, at times with metal shavings and burrs in the threads.

    Patients Screwed in Spine Surgery ‘Scam’|The Center for Investigative Reporting|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Think about this: music is the only branch of the entertainment world to embrace progressively inferior technologies.

    Five Lessons the Faltering Music Industry Could Learn From TV|Ted Gioia|August 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • While it came with multiple different preset control styles, it was still an inferior system.

    Video Games Go Wild for Reboots|Alec Kubas-Meyer|July 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • People listen to it on tinny cellphone speakers that are entirely inferior to what they had in lo-tech times of yore.

    Comedy Is His Calling: The Brilliance of Billy Crystal|Tom Shales|April 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Adderall is an inferior drug, asserts Hart, because of its side effects.

    Why We Need Medical Meth + Cocaine|Valerie Vande Panne|February 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Then we are again overgrown boys, beings of inferior race and incapable of being civilized.

    The Philippine Islands|John Foreman

  • But closely allied to this subject, and not inferior to it in importance, stands that of Industrial Training.

    Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley

  • Dearer than the cigarritos are the cigars, which are not inferior to the best Havanna.

    Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce|E. R. Billings.

  • He is thought to be little inferior to Racine in the merit of his dramatic compositions.

    The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell

  • But, glad as was the schemer, his delight and sense of freedom were much inferior to those of his misguided and unlucky partner.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV.|Various

British Dictionary definitions for inferior


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

  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


an inferior person

printingan inferior character

Derived forms of inferior

inferiority (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

Medical definitions for inferior


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.

Other words from inferior

in•fe′ri•or′i•ty (-ôr′ĭ-tē) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.



From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishinferiorin‧fe‧ri‧or1 /ɪnˈfɪəriə $ -ˈfɪriər/ ●●○ adjective1BADWORSEnot good, or not as good as someone or something elseOPP superiorI felt very inferior among all those of inferior qualityinferior goodsinferior toI always felt slightly inferior to her.Their performance was inferior to that of other teams.2formalPOSITION/RANKlower in rankOPP superioran inferior court of lawHe refused to accept a job of inferior status.COLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2adverbsgreatly inferiorIron is greatly inferior to steel in many ways.far inferior (=greatly inferior)He easily defeated a far inferior opponent.considerably inferior (=by quite a large amount)They have the same number of points as the league leaders, but a considerably inferior goal difference.vastly/grossly inferior (=by a very great amount)The quality of service was vastly inferior in that other restaurant.slightly inferior (also somewhat inferior formal)I always felt slightly inferior to her.markedly inferior (=in a way that is easy to notice)Our equipment was markedly inferior to that of the enemy forces.socially inferiorShe felt socially inferior to her husband's wealthy friends.morally inferiorNon-believers were considered morally inferior by people who adopted the new religion.intellectually inferiorStudents from working-class families were made to feel intellectually inferior.intrinsically inferior (=inferior as part of its nature or character)Recorded music is intrinsically inferior to the real thing.verbsfeel inferiorWomen are made to feel inferior by men's violence towards them.consider somebody/something inferiorThe poor are considered inferior by some people.nounsinferior qualityThe poor soil produces wine of inferior inferior positionHe argued that capitalism requires some people to be kept in an inferior position in society.inferior status formal (=an inferior position)As a slave, he was aware of his inferior status.inferior serviceHe wrote a letter to complain about inferior service at the hotel.inferior goods/productsThe public are being deceived into buying inferior goods.Examples from the Corpusinferior• What Engels stresses is that women were not inferior.• Consumers buy foreign goods because they believe that British made goods are inferior.• Shockingly, they still perceive women as inferior.• The plan was a daring one, for it would leave an inferior force in the Richmond defenses.• Californiaoil is a heavier and inferiorgrade of oil, compared with other crude oils.• inferior health-care facilities• White bread is generally inferior in nutritionalvalue.• Leiser discovered, however, that because the embassy had an inferiorinstrument, the pianistpracticed at the local conservatory.• And far inferior is mere action to action performed with this evenness of mind.• I want the best -- I don't want some inferiormodel that's going to break down the first time I use it.• Does this imply that inferiorperformance can be expected in these structures?• Their furniture is certainly cheaper, but it's of inferiorquality.• Consumers are tired of paying a high price for what is an increasingly inferior service.• But also added that he easily became impatient with any intellectinferior to his own.• Old Mr Carter was convinced that women doctors were inferior to men.• The idea that acts of love are inferior to principled acts is a deep-rootedphilosophicaltradition.inferior to• Some people viewAmericanwines as inferior in quality toEuropean wines.inferiorinferior2 noun [countable]POSITION/RANKsomeone who has a lower position or rank than you in an organizationOPP superiorExamples from the Corpusinferior• But people decided it was only inferiors who ate alpacameat.• It constitutes a gesture of respect not to make social inferiorsconscious of their inferiority.• It hides from the inferiors the sources of domination and the process by which this has come about.Origininferior1(1400-1500)Latin“lower”, from inferus“below”

  1. Weber state nursing program ranking
  2. Black kitchen towels
  3. Express fitted vs slim
Inferior meaning in hindi -- inferior ka matlab kya hota hai -- word meaning english to hindi

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You might call something inferior if its quality isn't as good as another, comparable thing, like that kite that you can't get to fly no matter how fast you run back and forth while your friend's kite soars overhead.

Besides "lower in quality," another meaning of the adjective inferior is "lower in rank or status," the way a corporal is inferior to a general in the Army. The word inferior can also be used as a noun to mean "a person who is lower in rank or status," in which case you might say to your younger brother, "You are my inferior, therefore you should take out the trash."

Definitions of inferior

  1. adjective

    of or characteristic of low rank or importance
    low-level, subordinate

    lower in rank or importance


    literal meanings; being at or having a relatively small elevation or upward extension


    less than normal in degree or intensity or amount

    humble, low, lowly, modest, small

    low or inferior in station or quality


    fairly poor to not very good


    at a low level in rank or importance


    intermediate in rank or position


    decisively surpassed by something else so as to appear to be of a lower class

  2. adjective

    of low or inferior quality

    (superlative of `bad') most wanting in quality or value or condition


    below average in quality or performance


    (used of metals) consisting of or alloyed with inferior metal

    bum, cheap, cheesy, chintzy, crummy, punk, sleazy, tinny

    of very poor quality; flimsy

    bush, bush-league

    not of the highest quality or sophistication

    cheapjack, shoddy, tawdry

    cheap and shoddy

    coarse, common

    of low or inferior quality or value


    made coarse or crude by lack of skill

    commercial, commercial-grade

    of the kind or quality used in commerce; average or inferior

    deplorable, execrable, miserable, woeful, wretched

    of very poor quality or condition


    (usually preceded by `no') lower in quality


    of inferior quality

    mediocre, second-rate

    moderate to inferior in quality

    ropey, ropy

    (British informal) very poor in quality

    scrawny, scrubby, stunted

    inferior in size or quality


    of inferior status or quality


    of lesser quality than second-rate

    utility, utility-grade

    used of beef; usable but inferior

    see moresee less

    of high or superior quality or performance


    (superlative of `good') having the most positive qualities

    A-one, ace, crack, first-rate, super, tiptop, top-notch, topnotch, tops

    of the highest quality


    unusually good; outstanding

    blue-ribbon, select

    selected or chosen for special qualifications

    boss, brag

    exceptionally good

    brilliant, superb

    of surpassing excellence



    choice, prime, prize, quality, select

    of superior grade

    excellent, fantabulous, first-class, splendid

    very good; of the highest quality


    of the highest quality or value

    greatest, sterling, superlative

    highest in quality


    modified to give superior performance

    outstanding, stellar

    distinguished from others in excellence


    having or reflecting superior quality or value

    pucka, pukka

    absolutely first class and genuine


    marked by exceptional merit


    excellent or splendid


    highest in excellence or achievement

    top-flight, top-hole, topping

    excellent; best possible

    surpassing, transcendent

    exceeding or surpassing usual limits especially in excellence


    of a quality adequate for use in weapons (especially in weapons of mass destruction)


    skillfully constructed

    show more antonyms...
  3. adjective

    falling short of some prescribed norm
    synonyms:deficient, substandard

    varying from or not adhering to a standard

  4. noun

    one of lesser rank or station or quality
  5. adjective

    lower than a given reference point

    inferior alveolar artery”


    situated at the bottom or lowest position

  6. adjective

    written or printed below and to one side of another character
  7. noun

    a character or symbol set or printed or written beneath or slightly below and to the side of another character
  8. adjective

    having an orbit between the sun and the Earth's orbit

    “Mercury and Venus are inferior planets”


Meaning inferior


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