1) ADJ-GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as superficial, you disapprove of them because they do not think deeply, and have little understanding of anything serious or important.

This guy is a superficial yuppie with no intellect whatsoever...

The tone of his book is consistently negative, occasionally arrogant, and often superficial.

Derived words:
superficiality [[t]su͟ːpə(r)fɪʃiæ̱lɪti[/t]] N-UNCOUNT oft N of n

He hated the superficiality, the neon glamour and the cheap prettiness of life in L.A.

superficially ADV-GRADED ADV after v

Hill cannot write badly or superficially; his characters and plotting are, as usual, admirable.

2) ADJ-GRADED If you describe something such as an action, feeling, or relationship as superficial, you mean that it includes only the simplest and most obvious aspects of that thing, and not those aspects which require more effort to deal with or understand.

Their arguments do not withstand the most superficial scrutiny...

His roommate had been pleasant on a superficial level...

Father had no more than a superficial knowledge of music.

Derived words:
superficiality N-UNCOUNT oft N of n

His assessment only serves to demonstrate the superficiality of the judgements we make when we first meet people.

superficially ADV-GRADED ADV with v

The film touches on these difficult questions, but only superficially.

3) ADJ-GRADED Superficial is used to describe the appearance of something or the impression that it gives, especially if its real nature is very different.

Despite these superficial resemblances, this is a darker work than her earlier novels...

Spain may well look different but the changes are superficial.

Derived words:
superficially ADV-GRADED ADV with cl/group, ADV with v

Many of these killers are frequently glib and superficially charming...

Superficially there have been many changes in Britain in recent years.

4) ADJ-GRADED Superficial injuries are not very serious, and affect only the surface of the body. You can also describe damage to an object as superficial.

The 69-year-old clergyman escaped with superficial wounds...

The explosion caused superficial damage to the fortified house.

5) ADJ: ADJ n The superficial layers of the skin are the ones nearest the surface. [MEDICAL]

...superficial blood vessels in the forearm.

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Superficial — Su per*fi cial, a. [L. superficialis: cf. F. superficiel. See {Superficies}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the superficies, or surface; lying on the surface; shallow; not deep; as, a superficial color; a superficial covering; superficial measure or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • superficial — SUPERFICIÁL, Ă, superficiali, e, adj. Care apare, se produce, rămâne la suprafaţa unui obiect, a unei fiinţe; fig. care apare, se produce, rămâne la suprafaţă, fără să atingă miezul, esenţa lucrurilor. ♦ fig. (Despre oameni) Care tratează… …   Dicționar Român

  • superficial — superficial, shallow, cursory, uncritical can mean lacking in depth, solidity, and comprehensiveness. Superficial applies chiefly to persons, their minds, their emotions, their attainments, or their utterances or writings, but it is also… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • superficial — adjetivo 1. De la superficie: quemadura superficial, capa superficial. 2. Que no tiene solidez ni profundidad, o que se queda en la superficie: amistad superficial, conversación superficial. 3. Uso/registro: coloquial. Pragmática …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • superficial — [so͞o΄pər fish′əl] adj. [ME superficyall < L superficialis < superficies: see SUPERFICIES] 1. a) of or being on the surface [a superficial burn] b) of or limited to surface area; plane [superficial measurements] 2. concerned with and… …   English World dictionary

  • Superficial — is a general term meaning regarding the surface , often metaphorically. Both in the literal as in the metaphorical sense the term has often a negative connotation based on the idea that deeper parts are also important to consider.In human anatomy …   Wikipedia

  • superficial — (Del lat. superficiālis). 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo a la superficie. 2. Que está o se queda en ella. 3. Aparente, sin solidez ni sustancia. 4. Frívolo, sin fundamento. ☛ V. estructura superficial, tensión superficial …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Superficial — (Superficiär, v. lat.), oberflächlich, auf der Oberfläche befindlich, dieselbe allein angehend …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • superficial — 1. relacionado con la piel o con otra superficie. 2. que no es grave ni peligroso. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • superficial — I adjective careless, cursory, depthless, desultory, empty, exterior, external, frivolous, hasty, hurried, inane, insubstantial, lax, /ev/s, outward, perfunctory, sciolistic, shallow, shoal, silly, skin deep, slapdash, slight, surface, trifling,… …   Law dictionary

  • superficial — late 14c., in anatomical and mathematical uses, of or relating to a surface, from L. superficialis of or pertaining to the surface, from superficies surface, from super above, over (see SUPER (Cf. super )) + facies form, face (see FACE (Cf. face) …   Etymology dictionary

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