superficies

noun su·per·fi·cies \ -ˈfi-(ˌ)shēz , -shē-ˌēz \

Definition of superficies

plural superficies
1 : a surface of a body or a region of space
2 : the external aspects or appearance of a thing

superficies was our Word of the Day on 10/29/2008. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Look below the surface of "superficies" and "surface" and you’ll find the very same Latin roots: "super-," meaning "on top," and "facies," meaning "face" or "aspect." English speakers plucked "superficies" right from Latin - it means "surface" in that language. Our word surface came to us by way of Middle French, where "sur-" (which comes from "super " and also means "on top") was combined with "face" (meaning "face"; from "facies"). We added "surface" to our crop of borrowed words around 1600, and the first known use of "superficies" is from 1530. One tricky thing to keep in mind about "superficies" is that it can be singular (even though it ends in an "s"!) or plural. There is no "superficie" or "superficy."

Origin and Etymology of superficies

Latin, surface, from super- + facies face, aspect — more at face


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