Definition of superficial
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
superficiallyplay \-ˈfi-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of superficial in a Sentence
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
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
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
a superficial analysis of the results
They had a superficial knowledge of the topic.
These superficial changes don't address the underlying problem.
The storm only caused superficial damage to the building.
Recent Examples of superficial from the Web
Sensus has other clinical studies on the superficial radiation technology on its website, http://sensushealthcare.com but no new studies since SRT-100 launched in 2011.
So the language has to be very glitzy and superficial and populist.
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
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of superficial
SUPERFICIAL Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of superficial for Students
1 : of or relating to the surface or appearance only a superficial cut
2 : not thorough or complete He has only superficial knowledge of the subject.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up superficial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).