superficial - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “superficial”

See all translations

superficial

adjective 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 actually they're quite 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.
superficiality
noun [U] uk   /-ˌfɪʃ.iˈæl.ɪ.ti/  us   /-ˌfɪʃ.iˈæl.ə.t̬i/
superficially
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. Religious education is poorly and superficially taught in most schools.
(Definition of superficial from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of superficial?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “superficial” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

extra time

a period of time in a sports game in which play continues if neither team has won in the usual time allowed for the game

Word of the Day

She’s got very good posture. (How we stand and sit)

by Liz Walter,
May 27, 2015
Recently on this blog, we looked at the words that we use to describe the way we move. This week we’re looking at words for describing our bodies when they are still, whether we are standing or sitting. Since most of us do far too much of this, let’s start with sitting.

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More