Superficial


Superficial

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, superficial describes objects near the body's surface as compared to other objects that may be deep. For example, skin is a superficial structure of the body and muscles are deep to skin. In addition, superficial muscles are those which are just under the skin, often the shape and size of which has an effect on a person's appearance.

Thus, the term is used to describe an observation or analysis that deals only with the most apparent and obvious features of some object, or phenomenon.

A superficial, or alternatively, an "over-simplified" argument is prone to many logical fallacies: including hasty generalization, division, composition and many others.

A person who exhibits a "superficial" comprehension of some or many subjects may be negatively attributed as being shallow, materialistic, and even exhibiting false emotions through an exaggerated affect display. Occasionally they may be pseudointellectual.


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  • 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 — 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… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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 — (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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