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Audio » Dictionary » S » Superfatted ... Supernaturalistic


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 Dictionary entry overview: What does superficial mean? 

SUPERFICIAL (adjective)
  The adjective SUPERFICIAL has 4 senses:

1. being or affecting or concerned with a surface; not deep or penetrating emotionally or intellectually
2. relating to a surface
3. of little substance or significance
4. involving a surface only

  Familiarity information: SUPERFICIAL used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

SUPERFICIAL (adjective)

Sense 1superficial [BACK TO TOP]


Being or affecting or concerned with a surface; not deep or penetrating emotionally or intellectually

Context examples:

superficial similarities / a superficial mind / his thinking was superficial and fuzzy / superficial knowledge / the superficial report didn't give the true picture / only superficial differences


shallow (lacking depth of intellect or knowledge; concerned only with what is obvious)

looking; sounding (appearing to be as specified; usually used as combining forms)

glib (marked by lack of intellectual depth)

facile (arrived at without due care or effort; lacking depth)

dilettante; dilettanteish; dilettantish; sciolistic (showing frivolous or superficial interest; amateurish)

apparent; ostensible; seeming (appearing as such but not necessarily so)


outward (relating to physical reality rather than with thoughts or the mind)

careless (marked by lack of attention or consideration or forethought or thoroughness; not careful)

frivolous (not serious in content or attitude or behavior)


profound (showing intellectual penetration or emotional depths; from the depths of your being)

Sense 2superficial [BACK TO TOP]


Relating to a surface

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)

Context examples:

superficial measurements / the superficial area of the wall


surface (the extended two-dimensional outer boundary of a three-dimensional object)

Sense 3superficial [BACK TO TOP]


Of little substance or significance


superficial; trivial

Context examples:

a few superficial editorial changes / only trivial objections


insignificant; unimportant (not important or noteworthy)

Sense 4superficial [BACK TO TOP]


Involving a surface only


skin-deep; surface; superficial

Context examples:

her beauty is only skin-deep / superficial bruising / a surface wound


shallow (not deep or strong; not affecting one deeply)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"A cobbler formed the shape of shoes on a wooden foot shaped last. If it lasted long he was happy" (English proverb)

"You tell by the work, not by the clothes." (Albanian proverb)

"He who does not know the falcon would grill it." (Arabic proverb)

"He who protects himself from cold also wards off heat." (Corsican proverb)

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