English

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Etymology

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Borrowing from Late Latin superficiālis (of or belonging to the surface), from superficiēs (top, surface) +‎ -ālis (-al, adjectival suffix).

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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superficial (comparative more superficial, superlative most superficial)

  1. (relational) Existing, occurring, or located on the surface.
    Synonym: surficial
    1. (anatomy, relational, often with to) Closer to the surface of the body; especially, situated or occurring on the skin or immediately beneath it.
      Antonym: deep
      superficial muscles
      The epidermis is superficial to the subcutis.
  2. Appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely.
    Synonym: external
  3. Not thorough, deep, or complete; concerned only with the obvious or apparent.
    Synonyms: cursory, skin-deep, surface-level
    Antonyms: in-depth, thorough
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Secondly, I continue to base my concepts on intensive study of a limited suite of collections, rather than superficial study of every packet that comes to hand.
    1. ​Lacking depth of character or understanding; lacking substance or significance.
      Synonym: shallow
      Antonym: substantive
      • 2014, "Little Green Men": A Primer on Modern Russian Unconventional Warfare, Ukraine 2013–2014[1], Fort Bragg, North Carolina: The United States Army Special Operations Command, page 43:
        These infamous little green men appeared during the decisive seizures or buildings and facilities, only to disappear when associated militias and local troops arrived to consolidate the gains. In this way they provided a measure of deniability—however superficial or implausible—for Moscow.40
  4. (rare) Two-dimensional; drawn on a flat surface.
  5. (British, architecture) Denoting a quantity of a material expressed in terms of area covered rather than linear dimension or volume.
    Synonym: square
    one superficial foot

Derived terms

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Translations

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See also

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Noun

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superficial (plural superficials)

  1. (usually in the plural) A surface detail.
    He always concentrates on the superficials and fails to see the real issue.
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References

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Catalan

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Latin superficiālis.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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superficial m or f (masculine and feminine plural superficials)

  1. superficial

Derived terms

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Further reading

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Galician

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Etymology

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From Latin superficiālis.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): (standard) /supeɾfiˈθjal/ [s̺u.peɾ.fiˈθjɑɫ]
  • IPA(key): (seseo) /supeɾfiˈsjal/ [su.peɾ.fiˈsjɑɫ]

  • Rhymes: -al
  • Hyphenation: su‧per‧fi‧cial

Adjective

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superficial m or f (plural superficiais)

  1. superficial
  2. surficial; of the surface

Derived terms

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Further reading

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Interlingua

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Adjective

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superficial (not comparable)

  1. superficial (pertaining to the surface)
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Portuguese

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Etymology

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Learned borrowing from Latin superficiālis. By surface analysis, superfície +‎ -al.

Pronunciation

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  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /su.peʁ.fi.siˈaw/ [su.peh.fi.sɪˈaʊ̯], (faster pronunciation) /su.peʁ.fiˈsjaw/ [su.peh.fiˈsjaʊ̯]
    • (São Paulo) IPA(key): /su.peɾ.fi.siˈaw/ [su.peɾ.fi.sɪˈaʊ̯], (faster pronunciation) /su.peɾ.fiˈsjaw/ [su.peɾ.fiˈsjaʊ̯]
    • (Rio de Janeiro) IPA(key): /su.peʁ.fi.siˈaw/ [su.peχ.fi.sɪˈaʊ̯], (faster pronunciation) /su.peʁ.fiˈsjaw/ [su.peχ.fiˈsjaʊ̯]
    • (Southern Brazil) IPA(key): /su.peɻ.fi.siˈaw/ [su.peɻ.fi.sɪˈaʊ̯], (faster pronunciation) /su.peɻ.fiˈsjaw/ [su.peɻ.fiˈsjaʊ̯]
 
  • (Portugal) IPA(key): /su.pɨɾ.fiˈsjal/ [su.pɨɾ.fiˈsjaɫ]
    • (Southern Portugal) IPA(key): /su.pɨɾ.fiˈsja.li/

  • Rhymes: (Portugal) -al, (Brazil) -aw
  • Hyphenation: su‧per‧fi‧ci‧al

Adjective

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superficial m or f (plural superficiais)

  1. superficial (comprising a surface)
    camada superficialsurface layer
  2. superficial; shallow (not reaching or penetrating deep)
    ferida superficialsuperficial wound
  3. shallow (overly concerned with superficial matters)
    pessoa superficialshallow person
  4. superficial (lacking thoroughness or attention to minor details)
    análise superficialsuperficial analysis

Derived terms

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Further reading

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Romanian

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Etymology

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Borrowed from French superficiel. By surface analysis, superficie +‎ -al.

Adjective

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superficial m or n (feminine singular superficială, masculine plural superficiali, feminine and neuter plural superficiale)

  1. shallow (about people)

Declension

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Spanish

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Latin superficiālis.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): (Spain) /supeɾfiˈθjal/ [su.peɾ.fiˈθjal]
  • IPA(key): (Latin America) /supeɾfiˈsjal/ [su.peɾ.fiˈsjal]
  • Rhymes: -al
  • Syllabification: su‧per‧fi‧cial

Adjective

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superficial m or f (masculine and feminine plural superficiales)

  1. superficial
  2. shallow (lacking substance)
    Antonym: profundo

Derived terms

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Further reading

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