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Is there a good adjective to describe someone who knows they're above others, and while not boastful, they are not forthcoming or approachable? I'm not trying to describe someone who is antisocial or outright unkind.

For example, think of a popular girl in high-school who knows she gets a lot of attention. She holds this fact above everyone else and thus only stays to her social group of similar girls, mostly ignoring everyone else.

I could never muster the courage to approach the ___ girl who sat in front of me in Biology class.

This word probably has a negative connotation, but not synonymous with malicious or reclusive.

  • To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE demonstrating how the word would be used. Please use the "phrase-requests" tag instead if you seek more than just a single word. – Cascabel Mar 24 '17 at 4:51
  • There is a sample sentence. – Xanne Mar 24 '17 at 5:17
  • 1
    I added an example after Cascabel's comment. – Seth Wyma Mar 24 '17 at 5:19
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Based solely on your description, my first thought was haughty or one of its synonyms:

Arrogantly superior and disdainful. (Oxford Dictionaries)

Another that I like, which is less pejorative, is lofty:

2: very high and good : deserving to be admired.
3 : showing the insulting attitude of people who think that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people. (Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary)

However, in the context of your sample sentence, there is one clearly appropriate word:

I could never muster the courage to approach the cool girl who sat in front of me in Biology class.

Cool is a word with a lot of nuances of meaning, many of which work in your context:

  1. Showing no friendliness towards a person or enthusiasm for an idea or project.

    • 2.1 Free from excitement, anxiety, or excessive emotion.
    • 2.2 (of jazz) restrained and relaxed.
  2. informal Fashionably attractive or impressive.

    • 3.1 Excellent. (Oxford Dictionaries)

At least in the US, a student who is attractive and popular and slightly "above" the regular student body, but without being actively boastful or cruel, is almost the definition of "cool".

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You're looking for a word that conveys an air of superiority. Consider aloof. As the example accompanying the following definition shows, being aloof doesn't necessarily mean being unkind or mean.

aloof adjective 1 Not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant. ‘they were courteous but faintly aloof’ - ODO

Note, though, that the word isn't normally used to describe a noun, as you're seeking with the phrase aloof girl. It describes the person's behaviour - e.g. she was aloof or she stayed aloof.

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snobbish: (M-W)

having or showing the attitude of people who think they are better than other people.

of or relating to people who are snobs.

"I could never muster the courage to approach the snobbish girl who sat in front of me in Biology class."

(Snob: : one who blatantly imitates, fawningly admires, or vulgarly seeks association with those regarded as social superiors

one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior. one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste).

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