superficial Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “superficial” in the English Dictionary

"superficial" in British English

See all translations


uk   /ˌsuː.pəˈfɪʃ.əl/  us   /-pɚ-/

superficial adjective (NOT SERIOUS)

C2 disapproving (of a ​person) never ​thinking about things that are ​serious or ​important: He's ​fun to be with, but he's very superficial.

superficial adjective (NOT COMPLETE)

C2 usually disapproving not ​complete and ​involving only the most ​obvious things: I ​thought that ​article was written at a very superficial ​level. The documentary's ​treatment/​analysis of the ​issues was very superficial. I only have a superficial (= ​slight)knowledge of ​French.

superficial adjective (FALSE APPEARANCE)

appearing to be ​real or ​important when this is not ​true or ​correct: There are superficial ​similarities between the two ​cars, but really they're very different in ​terms of ​performance.

superficial adjective (ONLY ON SURFACE)

only on the ​surface of something: superficial ​damage The ​driver only ​received superficial ​injuries/​cuts/​wounds.
noun [U] uk   /-ˌfɪʃ.iˈæl.ɪ.ti/  us   /-ˌfɪʃ.iˈæl.ə.t̬i/
adverb uk   us   /-i/
C2 The ​job I've been ​offered is superficially (= ​seems to be)attractive/​appealing, but I ​think I might ​find it ​boring after a while. The ​arguments were very superficially ​discussed.
(Definition of superficial from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"superficial" in American English

See all translations


 us   /ˌsu·pərˈfɪʃ·əl/

superficial adjective (NOT DEEP)

on the ​surface only; not ​deep: a superficial ​wound If something written or said is superficial, it does not show any ​realunderstanding of the ​subject and does not ​include many ​details: Her ​book on the ​history of ​cars in ​America was ​extremely superficial. A ​person who is ​described as superficial does not ​want to ​think seriously about anything, ​evenimportantmatters.

superficial adjective (NOT MUCH)

slight; not much: The ​storm was not ​bad, and most ​propertydamage was superficial.
(Definition of superficial from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of superficial?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“superficial” in American English

Word of the Day


a large group of soldiers who form a part of an army, especially the ancient Roman army

Word of the Day

There is no such thing as a true synonym in English. Discuss!
There is no such thing as a true synonym in English. Discuss!
by Kate Woodford,
November 25, 2015
In the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the word ‘synonym’ is defined as ‘a word or phrase that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same language’. As you might expect, definitions for this word are broadly similar in other dictionaries and yet the italicized

Read More 

conversational user interface noun
conversational user interface noun
November 30, 2015
a computer interface that provides information to users in normal, conversational speech in response to spoken requests Nearly every major tech company—from Amazon to Intel to Microsoft to Google—is chasing the sort of conversational user interface that Kaplan and his colleagues at PARC imagined decades ago.

Read More