"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[sem-bluh ns] /ˈsɛm bləns/
outward aspect or appearance.
an assumed or unreal appearance; show.
the slightest appearance or trace.
a likeness, image, or copy.
a spectral appearance; apparition.
Origin of semblance
1250-1300; Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to sembl(er) to seem (see resemble) + -ance -ance
1. aspect, exterior, mien, air. 2. seeming. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for semblance
  • The brief paragraphs of animated narrative, however, are often without even this semblance of a topic sentence.
  • If there is a cause, there is a cure and those with that curse can be brought back to normalcy or some semblance of a normal life.
  • We depend on some semblance of the current climate and ecosystem to survive as a species.
  • Because they know that these people will never bother to read a book, or attempt to operate with a semblance of objectivity.
  • Or function at all with any semblance of efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.
  • Probably because if you started talking about specifics, any semblance of uniformity would collapse.
  • It is fine to imagine a complex system, constructed by an engineer, that could achieve some semblance of metabolism.
  • For a police department facing a volatile situation, the bar graphs imposed some semblance of order.
  • It is the semblance of rationality, rather than the interests behind it, that provokes rage.
  • Loan losses are high, but the spreads are so large that with any semblance of credit discipline there should be room for profits.
British Dictionary definitions for semblance


outward appearance, esp without any inner substance or reality
a resemblance or copy
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from sembler to seem, from Latin simulāre to imitate, from similis like
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for semblance

c.1300, "fact of appearing to view," from Old French semblance, from semblant "likeness, appearance," present participle of sembler "to seem, appear," from Latin simulare "to resemble, imitate," from similis "like" (see similar (adj.)). Meaning "person's appearance or demeanor" is attested from c.1400; that of "false, assumed or deceiving appearance" is from 1590s. Meaning "person or thing that resembles another" is attested from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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