- being at, on, or near the surface: a superficial wound.
- of or relating to the surface: superficial measurement.
- external or outward: a superficial resemblance.
- concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer.
- shallow; not profound or thorough: a superficial writer.
- apparent rather than real.
- insubstantial or insignificant: superficial improvements.
- of, relating to, being near, or forming the surfacesuperficial bruising
- displaying a lack of thoroughness or carea superficial inspection
- only outwardly apparent rather than genuine or actualthe similarity was merely superficial
- of little substance or significance; trivialsuperficial differences
- lacking originality or profunditythe film’s plot was quite superficial
- (of measurements) involving only the surface area
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”). adj.
- Of, affecting, or being on or near the surface.
- Not thorough.