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1. Low or lower in order, degree, or rank: Captain is an inferior rank to major.
a. Low or lower in quality, value, or estimation: inferior craft; felt inferior to his older sibling.
b. Second-rate; poor: an inferior translation.
3. Situated under or beneath.
4. Botany Located below the perianth and other floral parts. Used of an ovary.
5. Anatomy Located beneath or directed downward.
6. Printing Set below the normal line of type; subscript.
a. Orbiting between Earth and the sun: Mercury is an inferior planet.
b. Lying below the horizon.
1. A person lower in rank, status, or accomplishment than another.
2. Printing An inferior character, such as the number 2 in CO2.
[Middle English, from Latin īnferior, comparative of īnferus, low; see n̥dher- in Indo-European roots.]
in·fe′ri·or′i·ty (-ôr′ĭ-tē, -ŏr′-) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.