ap·pear·ance | \ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s \

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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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

In a seven-year spell at Sporting, Carvalho made 191 appearances in all competitions, scoring 11 goals. Afp,, "Sporting CP midfielder Carvalho joins La Liga side Betis," 13 July 2018 Polanco, Bell, Diaz and Meadows are all on the Pirates’ active roster, while Neverauskas is in Triple-A with Keller but made MLB appearances in 2017 and 2018. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Mitch Keller excited to represent Indianapolis Indians in Futures Game," 13 July 2018 Having previously made her public appearances in pale, feminine hues, Markle arrived in a bold black dress with her signature scooped neckline, styled with nude heels and a stylish black fascinator. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Makes Surprise Appearance at RAF Centenary," 10 July 2018 The Brewers have been making multiple appearances in the community to encourage voting, have used the #WeBelieveInJesús hashtag and even have printed shirts for the cause. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After first day of voting, Jesus Aguilar leads 'Final Vote' standings," 10 July 2018 Current and former Ravens players, the team's cheerleaders and mascot Poe will make appearances, and there will be interactive games for fans., "Digest (July 9): Bel Air's Fry among four-way tie atop leaderboard at Maryland State Open," 10 July 2018 In June, Bieber and Baldwin started making public appearances together again. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Twitter Is Celebrating That Selena Gomez Will Never Ever Date Justin Bieber Again," 9 July 2018 In the past month, Markle has made seven public appearances (both with and without Prince Harry) and made quite the impression in her directional approach to dress. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Chooses Ralph Lauren for Prince Louis’s Christening," 9 July 2018 The new couple were first spotted out in May and have been making low-key appearances around New York City since. Ale Russian,, "Heating Up! Amber Heard and Vito Schnabel Hold Hands on Wimbledon Date," 9 July 2018

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

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appearance

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

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More Definitions for appearance



English Language Learners Definition of appearance

: 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


ap·pear·ance | \ə-ˈpir-əns \

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.


ap·pear·ance | \ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s \

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 \ intransitive verb

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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

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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