inferior Definition

  • 1lower in rank, status, or quality
  • 2not good or not as good as someone or something else

Using inferior: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "inferior" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The quality of the product was inferior to what was advertised.

  • Example

    He always felt inferior to his older brother.

  • Example

    The team's performance was inferior to their opponents'.

inferior Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for inferior

Antonyms for inferior

Idioms Using inferior

  • play second fiddle (to someone)

    to be in a subordinate or inferior position to someone else


    I don't want to play second fiddle to anyone in this company.

  • the lesser of two evils

    a situation where one choice is not good, but it is better than the other choice


    I don't like either candidate, but I guess I'll vote for the lesser of two evils.

  • put someone/something in their place

    to remind someone of their inferior position or status


    The boss put the new employee in their place by criticizing their work in front of everyone.

Phrases with inferior

  • a persistent feeling of inadequacy or a tendency to self-doubt due to a perceived lack of self-worth


    His inferiority complex made him feel like he was never good enough.

  • inferiority/superiority complex

    an unrealistic feeling of being less/more important, successful, or talented than one actually is


    Her superiority complex made her think she was better than everyone else.

  • goods whose demand increases as consumer income decreases


    Ramen noodles are an example of an inferior good because people tend to buy more of them when they have less money.

Origins of inferior

from Latin 'inferior', meaning 'lower'


Summary: inferior in Brief

The term 'inferior' [ɪnˈfɪəriər] describes something that is lower in rank, status, or quality. It can refer to products, people, or performance, as in 'The team's performance was inferior to their opponents'.' 'Inferior' also has idiomatic uses, such as 'play second fiddle (to someone),' meaning to be in a subordinate position, and 'put someone/something in their place,' meaning to remind someone of their inferior status.

How do native speakers use this expression?