Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

superficial

[soo-per-fish-uh l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. being at, on, or near the surface: a superficial wound.
  2. of or relating to the surface: superficial measurement.
  3. external or outward: a superficial resemblance.
  4. concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer.
  5. shallow; not profound or thorough: a superficial writer.
  6. apparent rather than real.
  7. insubstantial or insignificant: superficial improvements.

Origin of superficial

1375–1425; late Middle English superfyciall < Late Latin superficiālis, equivalent to Latin superfici(ēs) superficies + -ālis -al1
Related formssu·per·fi·ci·al·i·ty [soo-per-fish-ee-al-i-tee] /ˌsu pərˌfɪʃ iˈæl ɪ ti/, su·per·fi·cial·ness, nounsu·per·fi·cial·ly, adverbqua·si-su·per·fi·cial, adjectivequa·si-su·per·fi·cial·ly, adverbsub·su·per·fi·cial, adjectivesub·su·per·fi·cial·ly, adverbsub·su·per·fi·cial·ness, nounun·su·per·fi·cial, adjectiveun·su·per·fi·cial·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for superficiality

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for superficiality

superficial

adjective
  1. of, relating to, being near, or forming the surfacesuperficial bruising
  2. displaying a lack of thoroughness or carea superficial inspection
  3. only outwardly apparent rather than genuine or actualthe similarity was merely superficial
  4. of little substance or significance; trivialsuperficial differences
  5. lacking originality or profunditythe film's plot was quite superficial
  6. (of measurements) involving only the surface area
Derived Formssuperficiality (ˌsuːpəˌfɪʃɪˈælɪtɪ) or rare superficialness, nounsuperficially, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin superficiālis of the surface, from Latin superficies
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 superficiality

superficial

adj.

late 14c., in anatomical and mathematical uses, "of or relating to a surface," from Latin superficialis "of or pertaining to the surface," from superficies "surface," from super "above, over" (see super-) + facies "form, face" (see face (n.)). Meaning "not deep, without thorough understanding, cursory" (of perceptions, thoughts, etc.) first recorded early 15c. (implied in superficially "not thoroughly").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

superficiality in Medicine

superficial

([object Object])
adj.
  1. Of, affecting, or being on or near the surface.
  2. Not thorough.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.