semblance

noun sem·blance \ ˈsem-blən(t)s \
Updated on: 30 Nov 2017

Definition of semblance

1 a : outward and often specious appearance or show : form
  • wrapped in a semblance of composure
  • —Harry Hervey
b : modicum
  • has been struggling to get some semblance of justice for his people
  • —Bayard Rustin
3 a : a phantasmal form : apparition
4 : actual or apparent resemblance
  • her story bears some semblance to the truth

Examples of semblance in a Sentence

  1. tried to project some semblance of confidence even though public speaking terrified her

  2. a used-car dealer with only a semblance of honesty

Recent Examples of semblance from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of semblance

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from sembler to be like, seem — more at resemble


SEMBLANCE Defined for English Language Learners

semblance

noun

Definition of semblance for English Language Learners

  • : the state of being somewhat like something but not truly or fully the same thing


SEMBLANCE Defined for Kids

semblance

noun sem·blance \ ˈsem-bləns \

Definition of semblance for Students

: outward appearance
  • Everyone was rushing around with tools and wood and there was the semblance of a house emerging …
  • —Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy


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