- the act or fact of appearing, as to the eye or mind or before the public: the unannounced appearance of dinner guests; the last appearance of Caruso in Aïda; her first appearance at a stockholders' meeting.
- the state, condition, manner, or style in which a person or object appears; outward look or aspect: a table of antique appearance; a man of noble appearance.
- outward show or seeming; semblance: to avoid the appearance of coveting an honor.
- Law. the coming into court of either party to a suit or action.
- appearances, outward impressions, indications, or circumstances: By all appearances, he enjoyed himself.
- Philosophy. the sensory, or phenomenal, aspect of existence to an observer.
- Archaic. an apparition.
- keep up appearances, to maintain a public impression of decorum, prosperity, etc., despite reverses, unfavorable conditions, etc.: They tried to keep up appearances after losing all their money.
- make an appearance, to come; arrive: He didn't make an appearance until after midnight.
- put in an appearance, to attend a gathering or meeting, especially for a very short time: The author put in an appearance at the cocktail party on her way to dinner.
Origin of appearance
SynonymsSee more synonyms for appearance on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for appearances
He seemed by all appearances perfectly happy to let the Republicans control the state senate.Mario Cuomo: An OK Governor, but a Far Better Person
January 2, 2015
He knows he was lucky that way; but also that appearances can be deceptive.This Fashion World Darling Is Homeless
December 2, 2014
Joe Biden was there to ‘kiss the ring,’ while John McCain boasted of a record 101 appearances.Kissy-Face The Nation: Washington’s Power Elite Smooch Bob Schieffer
November 18, 2014
Conservative columnist Reihan Salam suggested that GOP-backed minimum wage discussions might be feints for appearances only.To Make Their Victory Durable, the GOP Must Fix the Minimum Wage
November 6, 2014
He makes no appearances—no debates, no town halls—and nobody seems to care!Bill Maher: Yes, I Can Generalize About Muslims
October 16, 2014
She clung to appearances with a tenacity that nothing could shake.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
This is a sort of economy having all the appearances and some of the advantages of prudence.The Secret Agent
Yet, I warn you, appearances are deceitful; he is always drunker than he looks.In the Valley
I will confess that although probabilities are for it, appearances are against it.Miracles of Our Lord
How could he have allowed himself to be deceived by appearances on entering?The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- the act or an instance of appearing, as to the eye, before the public, etc
- the outward or visible aspect of a person or thingher appearance was stunning; it has the appearance of powdered graphite
- an outward show; pretencehe gave an appearance of working hard
- (often plural) one of the outward signs or indications by which a person or thing is assessedfirst appearances are deceptive
- the formal attendance in court of a party in an action
- formal notice that a party or his legal representative intends to maintain or contest the issueto enter an appearance
- the outward or phenomenal manifestation of things
- the world as revealed by the senses, as opposed to its real natureCompare reality (def. 4)
- keep up appearances to maintain the public impression of wellbeing or normality
- put in an appearance or make an appearance to come or attend briefly, as out of politeness
- to all appearances to the extent that can easily be judged; apparently
Word Origin and History for appearances
late 14c., "visible state or form, figure; mere show," from Anglo-French apparaunce, Old French aparance "appearance, display, pomp" (13c.), from Latin apparentia, abstract noun from aparentem, past participle of apparere (see appear). Meaning "semblance" is recorded from early 15c.; that of "action of coming into view" is mid-15c. Phrase keep up appearances attested from 1760 (save appearances in same sense is 1711).
Idioms and Phrases with appearances
see keep up appearances; put in an appearance.