Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

semblance

[sem-bluh ns]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. outward aspect or appearance.
  2. an assumed or unreal appearance; show.
  3. the slightest appearance or trace.
  4. a likeness, image, or copy.
  5. a spectral appearance; apparition.
Show More

Origin of semblance

1250–1300; Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to sembl(er) to seem (see resemble) + -ance -ance

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. aspect, exterior, mien, air. 2. seeming.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for semblance

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The lawyer, therefore, leaned forward with a semblance of frank eagerness.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It was merely a semblance, which effaced itself; the vanishing of an illusion.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • The yards, taken as a whole, have some semblance to a real garden.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • We shall have him,' he cried, ridding himself of the semblance as hastily as he had assumed it.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • The semblance of a trial followed; he was condemned and transported to Cayenne.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson


British Dictionary definitions for semblance

semblance

noun
  1. outward appearance, esp without any inner substance or reality
  2. a resemblance or copy
Show More

Word Origin

C13: from Old French, from sembler to seem, from Latin simulāre to imitate, from similis like
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for semblance

n.

c.1300, "fact of appearing to view," from Old French semblance, from semblant "likeness, appearance," present participle of sembler "to seem, appear," from Latin simulare "to resemble, imitate," from similis "like" (see similar (adj.)). Meaning "person's appearance or demeanor" is attested from c.1400; that of "false, assumed or deceiving appearance" is from 1590s. Meaning "person or thing that resembles another" is attested from 1510s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper