Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

superficies

play
noun su·per·fi·cies \-ˈfi-(ˌ)shēz, -shē-ˌēz\

Definition of superficies

plural superficies

  1. 1 :  a surface of a body or a region of space

  2. 2 :  the external aspects or appearance of a thing



Did You Know?

Look below the surface of "superficies" and "surface" and you’ll find the very same Latin roots: "super-," meaning "on top," and "facies," meaning "face" or "aspect." English speakers plucked "superficies" right from Latin - it means "surface" in that language. Our word surface came to us by way of Middle French, where "sur-" (which comes from "super " and also means "on top") was combined with "face" (meaning "face"; from "facies"). We added "surface" to our crop of borrowed words around 1600, and the first known use of "superficies" is from 1530. One tricky thing to keep in mind about "superficies" is that it can be singular (even though it ends in an "s"!) or plural. There is no "superficie" or "superficy."

Origin of superficies

Latin, surface, from super- + facies face, aspect — more at face


First Known Use: 1530


Learn More about superficies


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up superficies? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily prompt angry maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ