superficial

play
adjective su·per·fi·cial \ˌsü-pər-ˈfi-shəl\

Definition of superficial

  1. 1a (1) :  of, relating to, or located near a surface (2) :  lying on, not penetrating below, or affecting only the surface superficial woundsb British, of a unit of measure :  square superficial foot

  2. 2a :  concerned only with the obvious or apparent :  shallowb :  seen on the surface :  externalc :  presenting only an appearance without substance or significance

superficially

play \-ˈfi-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of superficial in a Sentence

  1. Wonderbra model Eva Herzigova sued a Canadian underwear company that refused to pay her $30,000 fee because she showed up for the photo shoot with a short haircut that company didn't like. You know, it's shameful in this day and age how superficial and sexist some of these ad execs are. —Lewis Grossberger, Mediaweek, 14 Apr. 2003

  2. Angelina Jolie goes blond and bubbly and hell hasn't even started freezing over. The brooding brunette donned a Monroe-esque platinum coif for her most recent film, “Life or Something Like It.” She plays a superficial reporter who learns what's most important in life—which is, apparently, getting it on with Edward Burns. —Katerine Stroup et al., Newsweek, 23 July 2001

  3. All this discussion of money may seem a vulgar recital of greed. But that is really just a superficial, simplistic criticism and usually a dishonest one. —Garth Clark, Ceramics Monthly, October 2001

  4. a superficial analysis of the results

  5. They had a superficial knowledge of the topic.

  6. These superficial changes don't address the underlying problem.

  7. The storm only caused superficial damage to the building.

Recent Examples of superficial from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of superficial

Middle English, from Late Latin superficialis, from Latin superficies —see superficies

Synonym Discussion of superficial

superficial, shallow, cursory mean lacking in depth or solidity. superficial implies a concern only with surface aspects or obvious features. a superficial analysis of the problem shallow is more generally derogatory in implying lack of depth in knowledge, reasoning, emotions, or character. a light, shallow, and frivolous review cursory suggests a lack of thoroughness or a neglect of details. gave the letter only a cursory reading

SUPERFICIAL Defined for English Language Learners

superficial

play
adjective

Definition of superficial for English Language Learners

  • : concerned only with what is obvious or apparent : not thorough or complete

  • : affecting only the outer part or surface of something : not deep or serious

  • : lying close to the surface


SUPERFICIAL Defined for Kids

superficial

play
adjective su·per·fi·cial \ˌsü-pər-ˈfi-shəl\

Definition of superficial for Students

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the surface or appearance only a superficial cut

  2. 2 :  not thorough or complete He has only superficial knowledge of the subject.

superficially

adverb

Medical Dictionary

superficial

play
adjective su·per·fi·cial \ˌsü-pər-ˈfish-əl\

Medical Definition of superficial

  1. 1:  of, relating to, or located near the surface superficial blood vessels

  2. 2:  lying on, not penetrating below, or affecting only the surface superficial wounds

superficially

\-ē\play adverb


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