American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of, affecting, or being on or near the surface: a superficial wound.
- adj. Concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; shallow.
- adj. Apparent rather than actual or substantial: a superficial resemblance.
- adj. Trivial; insignificant: made only a few superficial changes in the manuscript.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Lying in or on, or pertaining to, the superficies or surface; not penetrating below the surface, literally or figuratively; being only on the surface; not reaching to the interior or essence; shallow: as, a superficial color; a superficial resemblance.
- Of persons or their mental states or acts, comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; not deep or profound; not thorough.
- In anatomy, not deep-seated or profound; lying on the surface of some part, or near but not on the surface of the whole body; subcutaneous; cutaneous: specifically said of various tissues and structures.
- Synonyms External, exterior, outer.
- Slight, smattering, shallow.
- adj. Shallow, lacking substance.
- adj. At face value.
- adj. Of or pertaining to the surface.
- adj. Being near the surface.
- adj. rare Two-dimensional; drawn on a flat surface.
- n. chiefly in plural A surface detail.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to the superficies, or surface; lying on the surface; shallow; not deep.
- adj. Reaching or comprehending only what is obvious or apparent; not deep or profound; shallow; -- said especially in respect to study, learning, and the like.
- adj. of, affecting, or being on or near the surface
- adj. concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; not deep or penetrating emotionally or intellectually
- adj. of little substance or significance
- Middle English, from Old French superficiel, from Latin superficiālis, from superficiēs, surface; see superficies. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In the video, she takes aim at what she calls superficial pop culture and the effect it is having on young girls ` images.”
“The lacerations probably looked pretty bad right after the accident, but they were what we call superficial.”
“Some men, of whom I wish to speak with great respect, are haunted, as it seems to me, with an unreasonable fear of what they call superficial knowledge.”
“So why would progressives want to participate in superficial nonsense like RePugniScums do?”
“Mr. Parvaiz, 26, suffered what were described as superficial wounds.”
“The industry of the superficial is well funded and outrageously expensive and will do a great deal in helping fund any war or social program.”
“Too frequently the stories seem to settle for, at worst, an indulgence in superficial whimsy, at best, a cultivation of the bizarre in situation and event that, at least as I read them, can't bear the weight they're asked to bear when left to provide the primary source of dramatic interest.”
“Different dog and cat breeds are known for both their differences in superficial characteristics, such as size and color, as well as personality and intelligence differences.”
“He could nimbly reach down into the tumors and, if they were “movable” as he called superficial, noninvasive cancers, pull them out without disturbing the tender architecture of tissues underneath.”
“In The Walker, the plethora of snide remarks about the current administration are not only just plain superficial, they seem snatched from the air and tacked on here and there, wherever - Schrader wrote the screenplay, too, by the way.”
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