The Meaning of Arrogant: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of arrogant? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word arrogant, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word arrogant mean?

According to Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word arrogant (pronunciation: ˈærəɡənt in American English, with three syllables a – ro – gant) is an adjective that describes someone who has a sense of superiority, self-importance or entitlement. This person might make claims of their importance or be insolently proud. Often, this person is overconfident beyond the realm of their abilities. They might brag about all of the great things they have done. An arrogant teacher, investor or arrogant official might have a sense of exorbitant claims of rank, overbearing pride, a sense of overbearing self-worth, or feelings of unwarranted importance. These people often have an exaggerated opinion of their own importance and take it out on inferiors. Someone who has a superior importance, excessive pride for an undue degree of importance, or arrogant contempt is often referred to as a schmuck. This is definitely an insulting thing to call someone, so be careful before using it. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

There are many examples or arrogant people that one will see in ordinary English. A subpar scientist who acts in a superior manner to his more esteemed colleagues is arrogant. Sometimes arrogance is used to create humor on your favorite TV shows, such as The Big Bang Theory seasons. Someone who resists a transfer of power because a different person is getting promoted instead of them is exhibiting arrogant behavior. The arrogant elite might refuse to give less fortunate residents tax breaks, or an arrogant shrug may be given as a reply.

Many different languages also contain words that mean arrogant aside from the English translation. You may notice that a lot of these words look similar to the word arrogant. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that loko, sound, and mean similar things across languages. These are usually formed when two words have the same root or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word arrogant is provided by Word Sense.

  • Dutch: arrogant‎
  • Swedish: arrogant‎
  • Polish: arogancki‎
  • Japanese: 傲慢‎
  • Georgian: ამპარტავანი‎, ქედმაღალი‎, მედიდური‎
  • Serbo-Croatian: arogàntan‎
  • Latin: arrogans‎ (masc.)
  • Hindi: अभिमानी‎ (abhimānī), घमंडी‎ (ghamandī), दम्भी‎ (dambhī), अक्खड़‎ (akkhaṛ)
  • Maori: whakahīhī‎, whakatuanui‎, whakatarapī‎
  • Arabic: مُتَكَبِّر‎
  • Latvian: augstprātīgs‎, iedomīgs‎, uzpūtīgs‎
  • Albanian: arrogant‎
  • Persian: خودبین‎ (xodbin), برمنش‎ (barmaneš)
  • Portuguese: arrogante‎
  • Interlingua: arrogante‎
  • Danish: arrogant‎, højrøvet‎
  • Turkish: kibirli‎
  • Luxembourgish: arrogant‎
  • Norman: rupé‎
  • Irish: ainteann‎, anuaibhreach‎, anuallach‎, béalteann‎, borrach‎, díomasach‎, dí-umhal‎, foruallach‎, iarlaitheach‎, iomarcach‎, mustrach‎, sotalach‎, teaspúil‎, tóstalach‎, uaibhreach‎
  • Armenian: գոռոզ‎, ամբարտավան‎, մեծամիտ‎
  • Czech: arogantní‎, domýšlivý‎, nafoukaný‎
  • Finnish: röyhkeä‎, ylimielinen‎, kopea‎, julkea‎
  • German: arrogant‎, hochmütig‎, eingebildet‎
  • Greek: υπεροπτικός‎
  • Romanian: arogant‎
  • Spanish: arrogante‎, soberbio‎, altivo‎, altanero‎, creído‎, presumido‎
  • Catalan: arrogant‎
  • Sanskrit: अभिमानिन्‎ (abhimānin)
  • Welsh: trahaus‎
  • Mandarin: 傲慢‎ (àomàn), 高傲‎ (gāo’ào), 驕傲‎, 骄傲‎ (jiāo’ào)
  • Bulgarian: арогантен‎, надменен‎, високомерен‎
  • Sundanese: bedegong‎
  • Hungarian: arrogáns‎, öntelt‎, pökhendi‎
  • Norwegian: arrogant‎
  • Esperanto: aroganta‎
  • French: arrogant‎, orgueilleux‎
  • Italian: arrogante‎
  • Russian: надме́нный‎, высокоме́рный‎, тщесла́вный‎, кичли́вый‎, гордели́вый‎, спеси́вый‎, чванли́вый‎, зано́счивый‎
  • Icelandic: hrokafullur‎
  • Vietnamese: kiêu‎, kiêu ngạo‎, kiêu căng‎, ngạo mạn‎, kênh kiệu‎, ngạo nghễ‎
  • Ido: aroganta‎
  • Hebrew: יהיר‎ (yahyr)
  • Pitcairn-Norfolk: waawaha‎

How can the word arrogant be used in a sentence?

The word arrogant can be used in many different sentences in the English language. However, one should be careful before using this word, as it is definitely insulting. In this example, Micah and Tawny are getting ready for their theater performance. 

Micah: Yeah, everyone who can said it was the best show they had ever seen. All thanks to my leading role, of course.

Tawny: You know, Micah, you’re the most arrogant person I’ve ever met. Do you really think this show would run without any of us? Any of your co-stars, or tech? 

Micah: Tawny, no need to get touchy just because you’re in the ensemble. I’m not arrogant. I’m confident.

Tawny: Fine. I’d love to see you try to do this all by yourself, since you can do everything. 

Here, Tawny calls Micah arrogant because he is attributing the show’s merit to him and only him. He makes the arrogant assumption and arrogant claims that the show’s success is all due to his performance. This overconfidence is just one example of arrogance. Later, Tawny and a friend discuss her blind date.

Tawny: How did it go?

Alex: Ugh, awful. He was so arrogant. He kept flexing his platinum card – and his biceps.

Tawny: Ugh, gross.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word arrogant?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word arrogant. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a quick and easy way to expand your English language vocabulary, and they can help you avoid repeating yourself! This list of synonyms for the word arrogant is provided by Thesaurus.

  • puffed up
  • smug
  • sniffy
  • overbearing
  • uppity
  • supercilious
  • stuck up
  • egotistic
  • cheeky
  • on an ego trip
  • cold-shoulder
  • wise guy
  • disdainful
  • autocratic
  • bossy
  • aloof
  • cavalier
  • imperious
  • presumptuous
  • bragging
  • biggety
  • snooty
  • domineering
  • snotty
  • superior
  • high-handed
  • snippy
  • self-important
  • know-it-all
  • peremptory
  • high and mighty
  • conceited
  • cocky
  • scornful
  • haughty
  • audacious
  • swaggering
  • insolent
  • pompous
  • contemptuous
  • proud
  • assuming
  • lordly
  • smarty
  • vain
  • pretentious
  • cool

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word arrogant. These are called antonyms, which are another means by which to expand your English vocabulary. This list of opposite words for the word arrogant is also provided by Thesaurus

  • hesitant
  • soft-spoken
  • demure
  • reserved
  • modest
  • quiet
  • respectful
  • docile
  • withdrawn
  • unobtrusive
  • tentative
  • ordinary
  • blushing
  • simple
  • deferential
  • subservient
  • content
  • fearful
  • gentle
  • manageable
  • sheepish
  • unostentatious
  • polite
  • shy
  • submissive
  • self-conscious
  • unpretentious
  • meek
  • humble
  • courteous
  • lowly
  • timorous
  • sedate
  • servile
  • apprehensive
  • supplicatory
  • unassuming
  • obliging
  • backward
  • self-effacing
  • retiring
  • unambitious
  • bashful
  • obsequious
  • reverential
  • mild
  • diffident
  • biddable
  • timid
  • standoffish
  • tractable

What is the origin of the word arrogant?

According to Etymonline, the word arrogant has been used since the late 14th century. This comes from the 14th century Old French word arrogant, from the Latin arrogantem, from the nominative arrogans meaning assuming or overbearing. This is the present participle of arrogāre. The Latin arrogāre means to claim for oneself or to assume. This comes from the prefix ad meaning to and the root rogare meaning to ask or request. This is a figurative use of a Proto-Indo-European verb meaning to stretch out. Related words include the noun arrogance and the adverb arrogantly. 

Overall, the English word arrogant means overly confident or acting with a sense of entitlement. This person is very proud and often overconfident, and will overestimate undue claims of self-importance or have a haughty disposition. Many different things can be arrogant, from a person who is a routine breaker of the rules to an arrogant decision, arrogant pretensions, or arrogant behavior. Being arrogant is one of the worst things one can be called. This word is Latin in origin, and can be used as proper English in place of slang words or casual English although it is one of many common owrds. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/arrogant/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/arrogant
  3. https://www.etymonline.com/word/arrogant
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrogant#:~:text=1%20%3A%20exaggerating%20or%20disposed%20to,by%20arrogance%20an%20arrogant%20reply
  5. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/arrogant
  6. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/humble