superficial


superficial
superficial, shallow, cursory, uncritical can mean lacking in depth, solidity, and comprehensiveness.
Superficial applies chiefly to persons, their minds, their emotions, their attainments, or their utterances or writings, but it is also applicable to things (as circumstances, factors, conditions, or qualities). The term usually implies a concern with surface aspects or obvious features or an avoidance of all but these aspects or features
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he had time for no more than a superficial examination of the report

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multiple superficial wounds of the left and right thigh . . . Profound wounds of right knee Hemingway

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the tendency ... of prose drama is to emphasize the ephemeral and superficial; if we want to get at the permanent and universal we tend to express ourselves in verse— T. S. Eliot

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Often the term is definitely depreciative and adds implications of unpleasing qualities (as pretense, ostentation, slightness, lack of thoroughness, insignificance, or insincerity)
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the lecture was very superficial

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our political theory is hopelessly sophomoric and superficialMencken

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its treatment of what is one of the important themes of our day seems generally too slick and superficial to be taken seriously— Merle Miller

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Shallow regularly implies a lack of depth
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a shallow stream

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shallow breathing

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and when applied to persons, their knowledge, their reasoning, or their emotions, is almost invariably derogatory and differs little from superficial used derogatorily except in its freedom from implication of outward show or of apparent but not genuine significance
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do you suppose this eternal shallow cynicism of yours has any real bearing on a nature like hers?— Shaw

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he continued to prop up this utterly muddled man, this confused and shallow "philosopher," as the intellectual mentor of the Nazi movement— Shirer

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people who are property-grabbers, shallow and callous egoists . . . are not capable of so noble and selfish a feeling as love— Salisbury

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Cursory stresses a lack of thoroughness or of care for details rather than a concentration on the obvious; it often also suggests haste and casualness
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even from a cursory reading of the book, I judge that it is a very fine piece of work

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knowing the nature of women, your cursory observations might prove to be more exacting . . . than my own— Terry Southern

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the coffeehouse must not be dismissed with a cursory mention— Macaulay

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as they worked, they cursed us— not with a common cursory curse, but with long, carefully thought-out, comprehensive curses— Jerome

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Uncritical implies a superficiality or shallowness unbefitting to a critic or sound judge, whether of literature or the arts or of more general matters (as data, statements, or events) which must be evaluated, related, estimated, or judged
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an uncritical judgment of a book

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she was absolutely uncritical, she believed everything— Audrey Barker

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I would not have you so uncritical as to blame the Church or its clergy for what happened— QuillerCouch

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Antonyms: radical (sense 1)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Superficial — Su per*fi cial, a. [L. superficialis: cf. F. superficiel. See {Superficies}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the superficies, or surface; lying on the surface; shallow; not deep; as, a superficial color; a superficial covering; superficial measure or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • superficial — SUPERFICIÁL, Ă, superficiali, e, adj. Care apare, se produce, rămâne la suprafaţa unui obiect, a unei fiinţe; fig. care apare, se produce, rămâne la suprafaţă, fără să atingă miezul, esenţa lucrurilor. ♦ fig. (Despre oameni) Care tratează… …   Dicționar Român

  • superficial — adjetivo 1. De la superficie: quemadura superficial, capa superficial. 2. Que no tiene solidez ni profundidad, o que se queda en la superficie: amistad superficial, conversación superficial. 3. Uso/registro: coloquial. Pragmática …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • superficial — [so͞o΄pər fish′əl] adj. [ME superficyall < L superficialis < superficies: see SUPERFICIES] 1. a) of or being on the surface [a superficial burn] b) of or limited to surface area; plane [superficial measurements] 2. concerned with and… …   English World dictionary

  • Superficial — is a general term meaning regarding the surface , often metaphorically. Both in the literal as in the metaphorical sense the term has often a negative connotation based on the idea that deeper parts are also important to consider.In human anatomy …   Wikipedia

  • superficial — (Del lat. superficiālis). 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo a la superficie. 2. Que está o se queda en ella. 3. Aparente, sin solidez ni sustancia. 4. Frívolo, sin fundamento. ☛ V. estructura superficial, tensión superficial …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Superficial — (Superficiär, v. lat.), oberflächlich, auf der Oberfläche befindlich, dieselbe allein angehend …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • superficial — 1. relacionado con la piel o con otra superficie. 2. que no es grave ni peligroso. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • superficial — I adjective careless, cursory, depthless, desultory, empty, exterior, external, frivolous, hasty, hurried, inane, insubstantial, lax, /ev/s, outward, perfunctory, sciolistic, shallow, shoal, silly, skin deep, slapdash, slight, surface, trifling,… …   Law dictionary

  • superficial — late 14c., in anatomical and mathematical uses, of or relating to a surface, from L. superficialis of or pertaining to the surface, from superficies surface, from super above, over (see SUPER (Cf. super )) + facies form, face (see FACE (Cf. face) …   Etymology dictionary


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