semblance

Semblance is all about illusion. Cramming all of your dirty clothes into the closet gives the semblance, or false appearance, that you've done your laundry — but the stench might give you away.

Semblance comes from the 14th-century French word for "resemble," and it is a noun for things that look one way on the outside but are very different on the inside. A popular combination is to say that a person or place has the "semblance of order," when, underneath, everything is out of control.

Definitions of semblance
  1. noun
    an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading
    “he hoped his claims would have a semblance of authenticity”
    synonyms: color, colour, gloss, veneer
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    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
    simulacrum
    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
    verisimilitude
    the appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true
    type of:
    appearance, visual aspect
    outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
  2. noun
    picture consisting of a graphic image of a person or thing
    synonyms: likeness
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    Identikit, Identikit picture
    a likeness of a person's face constructed from descriptions given to police; uses a set of transparencies of various facial features that can be combined to build up a picture of the person sought
    portrait, portrayal
    any likeness of a person, in any medium
    half-length
    a portrait showing the body from only the waist up
    self-portrait
    a portrait of yourself created by yourself
    type of:
    icon, ikon, image, picture
    a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface
  3. noun
    an erroneous mental representation
    synonyms: illusion
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    apparition, fantasm, phantasm, phantasma, phantom, shadow
    something existing in perception only
    irradiation
    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
    UFO, flying saucer, unidentified flying object
    an (apparently) flying object whose nature is unknown; especially those considered to have extraterrestrial origins
    Flying Dutchman
    a phantom ship that is said to appear in storms near the Cape of Good Hope
    ghost, shade, specter, spectre, spook, wraith
    a mental representation of some haunting experience
    type of:
    appearance
    a mental representation
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