Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or an instance of coming into sight.
  • n. The act or an instance of coming into public view: The author made a rare personal appearance.
  • n. Outward aspect: an untidy appearance.
  • n. Something that appears; a phenomenon.
  • n. A superficial aspect; a semblance: keeping up an appearance of wealth.
  • n. Outward indications; circumstances: a cheerful person, to all appearances.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of appearing or coming into sight; the act of becoming visible to the eye.
  • n. A thing seen; a phenomenon; an apparition.
  • n. Personal presence; look; aspect; mien.
  • n. Apparent likeness; external show; how something appears to others.
  • n. The act of appearing in a particular place, or in society, a company, or any proceedings; a coming before the public in a particular character.
  • n. The coming into court of either of the parties; the being present in court; the coming into court of a party summoned in an action, either by himself or by his attorney, expressed by a formal entry by the proper officer to that effect; the act or proceeding by which a party proceeded against places himself before the court, and submits to its jurisdiction.
  • n. , chiefly used by nurses: the act of defecation by a patient.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of appearing or coming into sight; the act of becoming visible to the eye.
  • n. A thing seed; a phenomenon; a phase; an apparition.
  • n. Personal presence; exhibition of the person; look; aspect; mien.
  • n. Semblance, or apparent likeness; external show. pl. Outward signs, or circumstances, fitted to make a particular impression or to determine the judgment as to the character of a person or a thing, an act or a state.
  • n. The act of appearing in a particular place, or in society, a company, or any proceedings; a coming before the public in a particular character.
  • n. Probability; likelihood.
  • n. The coming into court of either of the parties; the being present in court; the coming into court of a party summoned in an action, either by himself or by his attorney, expressed by a formal entry by the proper officer to that effect; the act or proceeding by which a party proceeded against places himself before the court, and submits to its jurisdiction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of coming into sight; the act of becoming visible to the eye: as, the appearance of the sun above the horizon.
  • n. 2. The state of being in sight; visibility.
  • n. A coming into presence; the act of presenting one's self: as, his sudden appearance surprised me.
  • n. An object as seen or perceived; a phenomenon; the immediate object of experience.
  • n. Something believed to have a supernatural character; an apparition: as, an appearance in the sky.
  • n. That which appears or is obvious; outward show or seeming; semblance as apart from reality or substance: as, there is an appearance of trouble yonder; appearances are against him.
  • n. Outward look or aspect; mien; build and carriage; figure: as, a man of noble appearance.
  • n. plural Indications; look.
  • n. The act of coming before the public; the act of coming into public notice: as, he made his appearance as a historian; the appearance of a book.
  • n. . Seeming; probability; likelihood.
  • n. In law: The coming into court of either of the parties to a suit; the being present in court as a party to a pending proceeding; the coming into court of a party summoned in a process, either in person or by his attorney, usually expressed by a formal entry by the proper officer to that effect; the act or proceeding by which a party proceeded against places himself before the court and submits to its jurisdiction. In Scots law, the stating of a defense in a cause.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of appearing in public view
  • n. formal attendance (in court or at a hearing) of a party in an action
  • n. a mental representation
  • n. outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
  • n. pretending that something is the case in order to make a good impression
  • n. the event of coming into sight

Etymologies

From French apparence, from Latin apparentia, from appareo. Displaced native Middle Englishwlite (from Middle English wlite ("appearance")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "It is hard for men to dress up their appearance. And it becomes no easier with age. The lawyer must have been in his eighties, and time had removed his body structure. But his tailor had accomplished a Christian miracle. Thelight-blue suit had achieved resurrection of the flesh as far as his torso was concerned. However, tailors can't do anything above the collar. The man looked like a turtle. But one should not underestimate turtles. In the sixties, when entertainers still performed at fairs with trained reptiles, Kasper had seen hundred-year-old Russian turtles mating. They had bellowed like people."
    - 'The Quiet Girl', Peter Høeg.

    March 19, 2008