superficial - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    affecting or involving only the surface or outside part of something

    Her injuries were only superficial.

    The house suffered superficial damage from the flood.

  2. 2
    not complete or thorough

    The study is too superficial for us to reach any conclusion.

    I have only a superficial knowledge of the subject.

    She made a quick and superficial examination of the car.

  3. 3
    a superficial person does not think about serious or important things

    Sarah is so superficial – she only cares about how she looks.

    He writes about living in a greedy and superficial society.

    1. a.
      not important or not having a serious effect

      We talked about superficial topics like sport and the weather.

      These are superficial policy changes that help no one.

  4. 4
    used for describing the way that something appears or seems to be although it is really not like this

    Any similarities between the countries are merely superficial.

    The monkeys bear a superficial resemblance but are in fact quite distinct.

  5. 5
    formal in or part of the top layer of something such as skin, soil, or rock

derived words



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noun [uncountable]



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