Root & Synonym Clusters 8: ARROGANT

Don’t you hate it when you have to deal with people who think they’re better than you? People who make you feel like you’re not smart enough, classy enough, or just plain good enough to deserve their time and attention? Hey, EVERYONE is ignorant, just on a different set of subjects. But anyway, there are words that pop up frequently on the SAT for people who think they’re better than everyone else, and here they are:


pompous – affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important: a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything.

disdainful – showing contempt or lack of respect: with a last disdainful look, she turned toward the door.

supercilious – behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others: a supercilious lady’s maid. Mnemonic: cilia are short hairs, as in eyebrows, think of some snooty person raising eyebrows and looking down at you.

grandiose – impressive or magnificent in appearance or style, esp. pretentiously so: the court’s grandiose facade.

arrogant – having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities: he’s arrogant and opinionated a typically arrogant assumption.

immodest – lacking humility or decency: she thought Western low-cut clothes were ugly and immodest.

smug – having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements: he was feeling smug after his win.

presumptuous – failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate: I hope I won’t be considered presumptuous if I offer some advice.

patronizing – treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority: “She’s a good-hearted girl,” he said in a patronizing voice she was determined not to be put down or patronized.

pretentious – attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed: a pretentious literary device.

haughty – arrogantly superior and disdainful: a look of haughty disdain | a haughty aristocrat.


Here’s a great rap by Josh Wagner to help you remember all these Arrogant words:

Click here to download the Arrogant Words Rap by Josh Wagner

Lyrics to the rap:


Don’t you hate when people think they’re ccoler than you?

That they’re faster, better, or stronger than you?

It doesn’t have to be true, They’re being arrogant so screw

Them, here’s a bunch of words to close their mouths like glue


They’re being smug, they wear they’re pride like a coat of wool

So even if you place first, they’re gonna be disdainful

How painful, showing so much lack of respect

But the soccer star is bout to get a mouthful


Tons of people around the world are being supercilious

Like they’re superior to others, they’re delirious

Every boy and girl is in they’re own way, grandiose

Magnificent, no one is the winner for being the most


Ever have a friend that took a joke too far?

Or didn’t know when they were going over-par?

They failed to observe the limits of appropriateness

So now they’re coming off as presumptuous, (got ‘em)


Don’t be pompous, haughty, or in any way pretentious

To pretend you know it all or you’re of greater importance

You’re performance on the test could likely be the best

But don’t be indecent about it, or immodest


I don’t mean to come off like the king of all words

Or patronize you, like i’m greatly superior

I’m just trying to help, this is purely platonic

I’m hope I’m not arrogant- that’d be ironic.

Click here for more Roots & Synonyms Clusters

and other posts and “PrepTalk” shows about vocab and vocab building

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