What Is The Best Word For Proud When It Is Used In A Negative Way Of Speaking?


3 Answers

Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
Proud is sometimes negative (eg "He's too proud to remember his old friends") but more often positive ("I'm so proud of my children's success.")

A word which always has negative connotations is ARROGANT. This means that the person thinks s/he is better than anyone else, and shows no consideration. (The noun is arrogance, eg "His arrogance showed in the way he treated his employees."

There is another word, HAUGHTY (from the French word for height) which means proud and superior in manner. However, it is less common than arrogant, and refers more to a person's looks or manner than their character, so arrogant is the best word.

Conceited and vain are other options you might consider.
Mark Westbrook Profile
Mark Westbrook answered
It is actually possible to use the word 'Proud' in a negative way. Although you can be proud of someone and someone can be proud of themselves, this is a type of esteem. However pride is also potentially negative with signifying a type of arrogance. Pride can prevent someone from behaving in the most sensible way because their pride stops them.

Someone can have airs, and they can also make assumptions based on pride, obviously they can be big-headed, they can be cocky. When someone is proud they can sometimes by condescending. People can be proud and that can be caused by egotism. People who are proud can be called immodest. An old fashioned name for pride is vainglory but this is not used regularly any more. Pride in physical beauty is called vanity.

Pride is one of those words that can be equally positive and negative and like many words in the tricky English language, it is just a matter of intention and context.

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