Anything superficial has to do with the surface of something. If you're judging a book by its cover, you're being superficial. People who worry too much about their clothes and hair may also be considered superficial.

The word superficial has to do with appearances and the surface. If a car is in an accident, but it only has a few scratches, you could say it has superficial damage, because the important parts are OK. If you just glance at a movie for a second, your opinion will be more superficial than the opinion of someone who watched the whole film closely. Superficial can have a negative flavor; calling someone superficial is saying that they are shallow and care too little about meaningful things.

Definitions of superficial

adj of, affecting, or being on or near the surface

superficial measurements”
“the superficial area of the wall”
“a superficial wound”

adj concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; not deep or penetrating emotionally or intellectually

superficial similarities”
“a superficial mind”
“his thinking was superficial and fuzzy”
superficial knowledge”
“the superficial report didn't give the true picture”
“only superficial differences”
marked by lack of attention or consideration or forethought or thoroughness; not careful
relating to physical reality rather than with thoughts or the mind
apparent, ostensible, seeming
appearing as such but not necessarily so
dilettante, dilettanteish, dilettantish, sciolistic
showing frivolous or superficial interest; amateurish
arrived at without due care or effort; lacking depth
marked by lack of intellectual depth
looking, sounding
appearing to be as specified; usually used as combining forms
lacking depth of intellect or knowledge; concerned only with what is obvious
penetrating no deeper than the skin: "her beauty is only skin-deep"
not serious in content or attitude or behavior
showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to a heightened degree
marked by depth of thinking
having intellectual depth
characteristic of scholars or scholarship
show more antonyms...

adj of little substance or significance

“a few superficial editorial changes”
insignificant, unimportant
devoid of importance, meaning, or force

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