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superficial

[soo-per-fish-uh l]
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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.
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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 superficialities

Historical Examples

  • It is only youth that estimates happiness by superficialities.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • Carrie was an apt student of fortune's ways—of fortune's superficialities.

    Sister Carrie

    Theodore Dreiser

  • But these are hardly more than superficialities of the service.

    The Modern Railroad

    Edward Hungerford

  • Camelia was in nowise disconcerted by these superficialities.

    The Confounding of Camelia

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • Kansas is still too near to first principles to be concerned with superficialities.

    Abroad at Home

    Julian Street


British Dictionary definitions for superficialities

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
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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 superficialities

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").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

superficialities in Medicine

superficial

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