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Denotation vs. Connotation

superficial

[soo-per-fish-uh l] /ˌsu pərˈfɪʃ əl/
adjective
1.
being at, on, or near the surface:
a superficial wound.
2.
of or relating 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 of superficial
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for superficially
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was superficially interested, and I was conducted to the vaults.

  • No amount of method will remove the curse of the superficially informed.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • superficially viewed, this doctrine seems to place man within the circle of a kind of blind fatalism.

  • When he had done, he examined, superficially, the wounds of each man.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • Dagny in "Mysteries" is superficially a much more attractive young woman than Edvarda.

    Knut Hamsun Hanna Astrup Larsen
British Dictionary definitions for superficially

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 superficially

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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superficially 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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