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

n 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
Types:
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
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

n picture consisting of a graphic image of a person or thing

Synonyms:
likeness
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
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

n an erroneous mental representation

Synonyms:
illusion
Types:
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
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

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.