noun ap·pear·ance \ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s\

Definition of appearance

  1. 1a :  external show :  semblance Although hostile, he preserved an appearance of neutrality.b :  outward aspect :  look had a fierce appearancec appearances plural :  outward indication trying to keep up appearances

  2. 2a :  a sense impression or aspect of a thing The blue of distant hills is only an appearance.b :  the world of sensible phenomena

  3. 3a :  the act, action, or process of appearing the first appearance of that word in Englishb law :  the presentation of oneself in court as a party to an action often through the representation of an attorney

  4. 4a :  something that appears :  phenomenonb :  an instance of appearing :  occurrence her first public appearance since winning the award

Examples of appearance in a sentence

  1. The general appearance of the house is quite good.

  2. The museum restored the painting to its original appearance.

  3. lotions that improve your skin's appearance and texture

  4. You shouldn't judge a man by his appearance.

  5. Have you noticed any changes in her appearance?

  6. He appears to be happy, but appearances can be deceptive.

  7. Their expensive home created a false appearance of success and happiness.

Origin and Etymology of appearance

see appear

First Known Use: 14th century

APPEARANCE Defined for English Language Learners


noun ap·pear·ance \ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s\

Definition of appearance for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


noun ap·pear·ance \ə-ˈpir-əns\

Definition of appearance for Students

  1. 1 :  the way something looks The room has a cool appearance.

  2. 2 :  the act or an instance of appearing His sudden appearance startled us.

Medical Dictionary


noun ap·pear·ance \ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s\

Medical Definition of appearance

  1. 1:  the action or process of becoming evident to the senses the sudden appearance of a rash on the body

  2. 2:  the outward or visible aspect of something a tumor with a spongy appearance


\ə-ˈpi(ə)r\play intransitive verb

Law Dictionary


noun ap·pear·ance

Legal Definition of appearance

  1. 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. 2 :  outward look a lawyer should avoid the appearance of impropriety

Seen and Heard

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


a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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