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[skin-deep] /ˈskɪnˈdip/
superficial or slight; not profound or substantial:
Their sincerity is only skin-deep.
slightly; superficially:
He went into the subject only skin-deep.
Origin of skin-deep
First recorded in 1605-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for skin deep
Historical Examples
  • That his reform is skin deep, and that, like all other serpents, he sloughs his skin once a year.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • "With residences as with—er—ladies, beauty is only skin deep," said he.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • The pride was only skin deep; the pluck was part of the heroic element in Annie.

    A Houseful of Girls Sarah Tytler
  • But a smile that is only skin deep is not a true smile, but only a superficial grin.

    The Girl Wanted Nixon Waterman
  • The resemblance is only skin deep, however, and Whiting's music has a mind of its own.

  • Yet, notwithstanding these, his Jacobitism was but skin deep.

    Robert Burns Principal Shairp.
  • But if beauty is only skin deep the skin is all any man wants, the best of 'em.

    Black Oxen

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • Beauty is not skin deep: it is the philosophy of the poet which is shallow.

  • Most persons will conclude that her beauty is not even "skin deep."

  • It is only skin deep, and makes me wish all the more to have her with my uncle for a time.

    The Clever Woman of the Family Charlotte M. Yonge
British Dictionary definitions for skin deep


superficial; shallow
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
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Idioms and Phrases with skin deep

skin deep

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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