1540s, "noble, magnificent" (of buildings, etc.), from Latin superbus "grand, proud, splendid; haughty, vain, insolent," from super "above, over" (from PIE root *uper "over"). The second element perhaps is from PIE root *bheue- "to be." General sense of "very fine" developed by 1729. Related: Superbious (c. 1500); superbly.
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