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superficial

[soo-per-fish-uh l] /ˌsu pərˈfɪʃ əl/
adjective
1.
being at, on, or near the surface:
a superficial wound.
2.
of or pertaining to the surface:
superficial measurement.
3.
external or outward:
a superficial resemblance.
4.
concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious:
a superficial observer.
5.
shallow; not profound or thorough:
a superficial writer.
6.
apparent rather than real.
7.
insubstantial or insignificant:
superficial improvements.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English superfyciall < Late Latin superficiālis, equivalent to Latin superfici(ēs) superficies + -ālis -al1
Related forms
superficiality
[soo-per-fish-ee-al-i-tee] /ˌsu pərˌfɪʃ iˈæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
superficialness, noun
superficially, adverb
quasi-superficial, adjective
quasi-superficially, adverb
subsuperficial, adjective
subsuperficially, adverb
subsuperficialness, noun
unsuperficial, adjective
unsuperficially, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for superficial
  • Do not be swayed by political conformity or accept superficial sources of information regardless of the trust you feel for them.
  • But the superficial reasonableness of a claim isn't enough to be confident that it is true.
  • And indeed there is a superficial similarity between the two movements of population.
  • The superficial interest of the media in this is itself startling.
  • The target audience is likely to have an interest in superficial knowledge of a widely diverse array of topics.
  • The discussion is interesting, because today our superficial rational mind finds its limits and believes in the human ego alone.
  • But any contamination would only be superficial and not found deep within the samples.
  • The story does not stay the same despite a superficial structural similarity, and especially the interpretation changes.
  • In my opinion this article is superficial, ill considered and a medical and scientific nonsense.
  • His anger mostly results from his misunderstanding or superficial understanding of the deep concepts involved.
British Dictionary definitions for superficial

superficial

/ˌsuːpəˈfɪʃəl/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, being near, or forming the surface superficial bruising
2.
displaying a lack of thoroughness or care a superficial inspection
3.
only outwardly apparent rather than genuine or actual the similarity was merely superficial
4.
of little substance or significance; trivial superficial differences
5.
lacking originality or profundity the film's plot was quite superficial
6.
(of measurements) involving only the surface area
Derived Forms
superficiality (ˌsuːpəˌfɪʃɪˈælɪtɪ), (rare) superficialness, noun
superficially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin superficiālis of the surface, from Latin superficies
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 superficial
adj.

late 14c., in anatomical and mathematical uses, "of or relating to a surface," from Latin superficialis "of or pertaining to the surface," from superficies "surface," from super "above, over" (see super-) + facies "form, face" (see face (n.)). Meaning "not deep, without thorough understanding, cursory" (of perceptions, thoughts, etc.) first recorded early 15c. (implied in superficially "not thoroughly").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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superficial in Medicine

superficial su·per·fi·cial (sōō'pər-fĭsh'əl)
adj.

  1. Of, affecting, or being on or near the surface.

  2. Not thorough.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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