appearance

noun

ap·​pear·​ance ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s How to pronounce appearance (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: a sense impression or aspect of a thing
The blue of distant hills is only an appearance.
b
: the world of sensible phenomena
3
a
: 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
4
a
: something that appears : phenomenon
b
: an instance of appearing : occurrence
her first public appearance since winning the award

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The diverse lineup for the three-day fest also boasts Justice, Reneé Rapp, Skepta, Melanie Martinez, Labrinth, Brittany Howard, Hozier, Chappell Roan, and the Smashing Pumpkins, who are making their first Osheaga appearance since 2007. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 21 Feb. 2024 Morgan came on in the 66th minute, her first appearance with the national team since the round-of-16 game against Sweden in last summer’s World Cup. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The group first collected a trio of appearances inside one of the most competitive regions on the list in 2013. Hugh McIntyre, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show while promoting season 2 of her Hallmark series The Way Home, the actress, 65, opened up about last summer's wedding. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 21 Feb. 2024 Mays had an initial appearance scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Katie Moore, Kansas City Star, 21 Feb. 2024 But if Parvati won’t return to Survivor, what about following her Traitors appearance with another reality competition show? Dalton Ross, EW.com, 21 Feb. 2024 Online, people say drinking water can heal dry skin and improve its texture and appearance. Jani Hall, Health, 21 Feb. 2024 The Marlins are coming off their first playoff appearance in a full season since winning the World Series in 2003. Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald, 20 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'appearance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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"

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near appearance

Cite this Entry

“Appearance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appearance. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s How to pronounce appearance (audio)
1
: the way someone or something looks
the room has a cool appearance
gave every appearance of being healthy
keep up appearances
2
: the act, process, or an instance of appearing
3
: something that appears

Medical Definition

appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance ə-ˈpir-ən(t)s How to pronounce appearance (audio)
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
appear intransitive verb

Legal Definition

appearance

noun
ap·​pear·​ance
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

More from Merriam-Webster on appearance

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