Your appearance is how you look: your clothes, hair, facial expression, skin tone, and posture all factor into your overall appearance.

Ever had to go somewhere you didn't want to go? If you stopped by just briefly, you made an appearance. But this word more often has to do with how things look. Your appearance is created by everything people can see, from your hair down to your shoes. Sometimes appearances can be deceiving: maybe you give an appearance of confidence, but you're really nervous inside. The saying "don't judge a book by its cover" means "don't judge by appearances."

Definitions of appearance

n outward or visible aspect of a person or thing

visual aspect
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youthful appearance in an old person
physical appearance
outward appearance
color, colour
the appearance of objects (or light sources) described in terms of a person's perception of their hue and lightness (or brightness) and saturation
texture and appearance of the skin of the face
effect, impression
an outward appearance
linear perspective, perspective
the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer
(astronomy) the particular appearance of a body's state of illumination (especially one of the recurring shapes of the part of Earth's moon that is illuminated by the sun)
vanishing point
the appearance of a point on the horizon at which parallel lines converge
the purely external aspect of a thing; superficial appearance
the general appearance of a publication
cast, form, shape
the visual appearance of something or someone
image, persona
(Jungian psychology) a personal facade that one presents to the world
color, colour, gloss, semblance
an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading
the general outward appearance of something
countenance, visage
the appearance conveyed by a person's face
hairiness, pilosity
the quality of having hair
the quality of not having hair
the qualities that give pleasure to the senses
qualities of appearance that do not give pleasure to the senses
deformity, disfiguration, disfigurement
an appearance that has been spoiled or is misshapen
homeliness, plainness
an appearance that is not attractive or beautiful
blemish, defect, mar
a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)
discoloration, discolouration, stain
a soiled or discolored appearance
the appearance of being plain and unpretentious
elaborateness, ornateness
an ornate appearance; being elaborately (even excessively) decorated
an appearance that serves to decorate and make something more attractive
a pale and sickly appearance
the quality of being well-groomed and neatly tailored
the impression produced by a person
the general impression that something (a person or organization or product) presents to the public
the impression created by doing something unusual or extraordinary that people notice and remember
tout ensemble
a total impression or effect of something made up of individual parts
color of law, colour of law
a mere semblance of legal right; something done with the apparent authority of law but actually in contravention of law
an insubstantial or vague semblance
face value
the apparent worth as opposed to the real worth
guise, pretence, pretense, pretext
an artful or simulated semblance
camouflage, disguise
an outward semblance that misrepresents the true nature of something
the appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true
aspect, expression, face, facial expression, look
the feelings expressed on a person's face
poker face
a face without any interpretable expression (as that of a good poker player)
hirsuteness, hirsutism
excessive hairiness
raw beauty
beauty that is stark and powerfully impressive
glory, resplendence, resplendency
brilliant radiant beauty
extreme beauty of a delicate sort
visually vivid and pleasing
an agreeable beauty that gives pleasure or enjoyment
physical beauty (especially of a woman)
glamor, glamour
alluring beauty or charm (often with sex-appeal)
beauteousness, comeliness, fairness, loveliness
the quality of being good looking and attractive
cuteness, prettiness
the quality of being appealing in a delicate or graceful way (of a girl or young woman)
good looks, handsomeness
the quality of having regular well-defined features (especially of a man)
sexual allure
ugliness that is unpleasant to look at
grotesqueness, grotesquerie, grotesquery
ludicrous or incongruous unnaturalness or distortion
garishness, gaudiness
strident color or excessive ornamentation
the quality of being unpleasant
dreadful ugliness; horrible repulsiveness
an ugliness of appearance that is not appealing to viewers
birthmark, nevus
a blemish on the skin that is formed before birth
chatter mark
a mark made by a chattering tool on the surface of a workpiece
check, chip
a mark left after a small piece has been chopped or broken off of something
a blemish resulting from a break without complete separation of the parts
dent, ding, gouge, nick
an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)
something very ugly and offensive
a small congenital pigmented spot on the skin
mark, scar, scrape, scratch
an indication of damage
burn, burn mark
a place or area that has been burned (especially on a person's body)
blot, daub, slur, smear, smirch, smudge, spot
a blemish made by dirt
a discoloration caused by heat
a discoloration caused by blood
iron mold, iron mould
a spot caused the staining with rust or ink
mud stain
a stain produced by mud
oil stain
a stain produced by oil
discoloration of metal surface caused by oxidation
a skin lesion that is a diagnostic sign of some disease
verruca, wart
(pathology) a firm abnormal elevated blemish on the skin; caused by a virus
chasteness, restraint, simpleness, simplicity
lack of ornamentation
austereness, severeness, severity
extreme plainness
bareness, starkness
an extreme lack of furnishings or ornamentation
flamboyance, floridity, floridness, showiness
extravagant elaborateness
unnecessary elaborateness in details
coating, finish, finishing
a decorative texture or appearance of a surface (or the substance that gives it that appearance)
milium, whitehead
a small whitish lump in the skin due to a clogged sebaceous gland
blackhead, comedo
a black-tipped plug clogging a pore of the skin
phase of the moon
a time when the Moon presents a particular recurring appearance
Type of:
an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone

n a mental representation

“I tried to describe his appearance to the police”
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illusion, semblance
an erroneous mental representation
3-D, 3D, three-D
having a three-dimensional form or appearance
the outward appearance of a person
apparition, fantasm, phantasm, phantasma, phantom, shadow
something existing in perception only
the apparent enlargement of a bright object when viewed against a dark background
phantom limb
the illusion that a limb still exists after it has been amputated
Type of:
internal representation, mental representation, representation
a presentation to the mind in the form of an idea or image

n pretending that something is the case in order to make a good impression

“they try to keep up appearances
Type of:
feigning, pretence, pretending, pretense, simulation
the act of giving a false appearance

n the event of coming into sight

the event of passing out of sight
Second Coming of Christ
(Christian theology) the reappearance of Jesus as judge for the Last Judgment
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the event of something appearing again
manifestation, materialisation, materialization
an appearance in bodily form (as of a disembodied spirit)
a clear appearance
the appearance of a ghostlike figure
egress, emersion
(astronomy) the reappearance of a celestial body after an eclipse
a divine manifestation
a visible (but not necessarily material) manifestation of a deity to a human person
Word of God
a manifestation of the mind and will of God
tidal wave
an overwhelming manifestation of some emotion or phenomenon
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

n the act of appearing in public view

“the rookie made a brief appearance in the first period”
“it was Bernhardt's last appearance in America”
disappearance, disappearing
the act of leaving secretly or without explanation
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an act of appearing or becoming visible unexpectedly
emergence, emersion
the act of emerging
reappearance, return
the act of someone appearing again
return by a celebrity to some previously successful activity
Type of:
the act of arriving at a certain place

n formal attendance (in court or at a hearing) of a party in an action

appearing, coming into court
Type of:
attendance, attending
the act of being present (at a meeting or event etc.)

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