appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance | \ ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s How to pronounce appearance (audio) \

Definition of appearance

1a : external show : semblance Although hostile, he preserved an appearance of neutrality.
b : outward aspect : look had a fierce appearance
c appearances plural : outward indication trying to keep up appearances
2a : a sense impression or aspect of a thing The blue of distant hills is only an appearance.
b : the world of sensible phenomena
3a : the act, action, or process of appearing the first appearance of that word in English
b law : the presentation of oneself in court as a party to an action often through the representation of an attorney
4a : something that appears : phenomenon
b : an instance of appearing : occurrence her first public appearance since winning the award

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Synonyms for appearance

Synonyms

aspect, dress, figure, garb, look, mien, outside, presence, regard [archaic]

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Examples of appearance in a Sentence

The general appearance of the house is quite good. The museum restored the painting to its original appearance. lotions that improve your skin's appearance and texture You shouldn't judge a man by his appearance. Have you noticed any changes in her appearance? He appears to be happy, but appearances can be deceptive. Their expensive home created a false appearance of success and happiness.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For her first public appearance post-diagnosis, the actress attended the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in a Ralph and Russo dress. Ariel Henley, Allure, "How Fashion Lets Me Embrace the Physical Differences Caused by Crouzon Syndrome," 12 Mar. 2019 People have a nasty habit of connecting morality to someone's physical appearance. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "17 Surprising Ways You've Internalized Misogyny," 8 Mar. 2019 The larger footprint ensures that Nvidia’s GeForce MX250 makes another appearance. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Lenovo's ThinkPad T490 emphasizes display improvements in 2019 refresh," 24 Feb. 2019 The photos in question also featured an appearance from friends and family of the couple. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Fans Think Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus Got Married," 24 Dec. 2018 Cooper and Shayk usually keep their relationship low-key, but have made a few key appearances on the red carpet this year, including the Golden Globes, National Board of Review gala, and the Oscars. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Jennifer Esposito? 6 Facts About the Actress Who Happens to Be Bradley Cooper's Ex-Wife," 26 Feb. 2019 Physical appearances, over the years, have been a constant source of attention. Meagan Flynn, The Seattle Times, "‘No part of her life should be anyone’s clickbait’: Tabloid’s Malia Obama report draws rebukes on social media," 19 Feb. 2019 That means more political jokes, celebrity guest appearances, and (hopefully) Home Improvement references for all of us to enjoy. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Tonight's 'Last Man Standing' Episode Is Going to Be Way Different Than Usual," 15 Feb. 2019 In fact, even decades after her show went off the air in 1978, the actress continued to send a message to her grandmother in interviews, award show appearances, and red carpet events. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Reason Why Carol Burnett Pulls Her Ear," 4 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appearance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of appearance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for appearance

re-formation (after appear) of Middle English apparence, aparaunce, borrowed from Anglo-French apparaunce, apparence, borrowed from Late Latin appārentia, noun derivative of Latin appārent-, appārens, present participle of appārēre "to be visible, appear"

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for appearance

The first known use of appearance was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for appearance

appearance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of appearance

somewhat formal : the way that someone or something looks
: a way of looking that is not true or real
: the action of appearing : the fact that something or someone arrives or begins to be seen

appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance | \ ə-ˈpir-əns How to pronounce appearance (audio) \

Kids Definition of appearance

1 : the way something looks The room has a cool appearance.
2 : the act or an instance of appearing His sudden appearance startled us.

appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance | \ ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s How to pronounce appearance (audio) \

Medical Definition of appearance

1 : the action or process of becoming evident to the senses the sudden appearance of a rash on the body
2 : the outward or visible aspect of something a tumor with a spongy appearance

Other Words from appearance

appear \ ə-​ˈpi(ə)r How to pronounce appear (audio) \ intransitive verb

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appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance

Legal Definition of appearance

1 : the presentation of oneself in court as a party to or as an attorney for a party to a lawsuit also : a document filed in court by an attorney declaring his or her representation of a party to a lawsuit — see also general appearance, special appearance
2 : outward look a lawyer should avoid the appearance of impropriety

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Comments on appearance

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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