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September 4, 2017 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Superficial"
Definition--Superficial - adj. at, on, or near the surface; lacking sincerity, shallow.

Discussion-- Superficial is a versatile adjective. It can be used to describe a person, a wound, a position, an idea, etc... We probably hear the word most commonly used to refer to a person who is only concerned with petty and material things. We also call these people shallow, referring to their inability to handle deep thoughts.

I took an Anatomy course a few years back and the word superficial was used quite often. In anatomical terms, superficial means closer to the surface, and is often used to describe a wound. If someone has a light scratch or abrasion, we call that a superficial wound. If they have a severe cut, we call that a deep wound. Deep and superficial are opposite terms used in anatomy to help make position references, i.e., the vein is superficial to the organ, the organ is deep to the vein.

We also use superficial to describe something or someone that is insincere. For instance, we all know that cheesy salesman who flashes the biggest smile every time he/she talks. They are not happy, or laughing, they are just trying to make you feel that they can be trusted by flashing a superficial smile. Their only hope is that you are equally superficial.

Etymology--from Latin superficialis, meaning of the surface, from superficies, meaning surface.

   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  oppervlakkig
French:  superficiel(le)
German:  oberflächlich
Italian:  superficiale
Spanish:  superficial

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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