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Superficial   /sˌupərfˈɪʃəl/   Listen
Superficial

adjective
1.
Concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; not deep or penetrating emotionally or intellectually.  "A superficial mind" , "His thinking was superficial and fuzzy" , "Superficial knowledge" , "The superficial report didn't give the true picture" , "Only superficial differences"
2.
Of, affecting, or being on or near the surface.  "The superficial area of the wall" , "A superficial wound"
3.
Of little substance or significance.  Synonym: trivial.  "Only trivial objections"



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"Superficial" Quotes from Famous Books



... number of people all reasoning and comment is superficial that is not expressed in the jargon of sociology and political economy. Expand a three-line paragraph in that manner and ...
— The So-called Human Race • Bert Leston Taylor

... remainder-patches and fragments, to mark where it had been. Lastly, if I had none of the superior Palaeozoic or Secondary formations to deal with, I have brushed over the whole, by way of finish, with the variously-derived coatings of the superficial deposits; and thus, as I have said, I have often completed, in idea, after the chance suggestion of the old painter's shop, my portable models of the geology of disturbed districts like the Banffshire one. The deposits of Moray are greatly less ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... death with a song of triumph upon his lips. What a union, in him, of sorrow and trust! No defying of pain, no boasting of calmness or strength, no braving of martyrdom,—not half so fine and grand, to a worldly and superficial view, as many a martyr's death! But oh, what a blending in him of everything that makes perfection,—of pain and patience, of trial and trust! But I am writing too long a letter for you to read. . . . K. just came into my study, and ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... and J. W. Du Bose, "The Life and Times of William Lowndes Yancey" (1892). There is a brief biography of Stephens by Louis Pendleton, in the "American Crisis Biographies". Most of the remaining biographies of the period, whether Northern or Southern, are either too superficial or too partisan to be recommended for general use. Almost alone in their way are the delightful "Confederate Portraits", by Gamaliel Bradford (1914), and the same author's ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... from the life of the passions to virtue; Isaac, [Hebrew: ytshk], the joy or laughter of the soul. These etymologies are more ingenious than convincing, and are not entirely true to Hebrew philology, but neither were those of the early rabbis; and they at least show that Philo had acquired a superficial knowledge of the language of Scripture. Nor can it be doubted that he was acquainted with the Palestinian Midrash, both Halakic and Haggadic. At the beginning of the "Life of Moses" he declares that he has based it upon "many traditions which I have received from the elders ...
— Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria • Norman Bentwich

... Socialism, beyond recounting some of the things we have already considered. A great many learned ignorant men, like Mr. Mallock, for instance, are fond of telling the workers that the economic teachings of Socialism are unsound; that Karl Marx was really a very superficial thinker whose ideas ...
— The Common Sense of Socialism - A Series of Letters Addressed to Jonathan Edwards, of Pittsburg • John Spargo

... the senses, the eye is the most superficial, the ear the most arrogant, smell the most voluptuous, taste the most superstitious and fickle, touch the most profound and ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... Princeton University declares that for several decades we have given education that does not instruct and instruction that does not educate. Others tell us that because we read daily papers and magazines our minds become superficial, that our power to concentrate or memorize is weakened,—that we read so much of everything that we learn little of anything. As the habit of reading magazines and newspapers is constantly increasing, I think we must assume that it has come to stay. If we cannot check it, ...
— Civics and Health • William H. Allen

... exists labour to act with it; if this machinery, described as excessive, is set working, some one will have the power to consume whatever is produced, and since we know that human wants are insatiable, too much cannot be produced. This crude and superficial treatment, which found wide currency from the pages of Adam Smith and McCulloch, has been swallowed by later English economists, unfortunately without inquiring whether it was consistent with industrial facts. Since all commerce is ultimately resolvable into exchange ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... and superficial readers do not remain untouched by the books of life; they fail to understand them or get the most out of them, but they do not escape the spell which they all possess,—the power of compelling the attention and stirring the heart. Not many years ago the stories of the Russian novelists were ...
— Books and Culture • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... benefit others. Normally the man of great productive capacity who becomes rich by guiding the labor of many other men does so by enabling them to produce more than they could produce without his guidance; and both he and they share in the benefit, which comes also to the public at large. The superficial fact that the sharing may be unequal must never blind us to the underlying fact that there is this sharing, and that the benefit comes in some degree to each man concerned. Normally the wage-worker, the ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... in the New World, it seems to have been the dream of Cardenas from his earliest youth to emulate him. In this desire he seems to have acted in good faith, and all his life the dream of saintship haunted him. Charlevoix* says 'he made a rather superficial study of theology, and then engaged in preaching, in which, with memory, assurance, and facility, he found it easy to succeed in a country where brilliant gifts are more esteemed than solid learning.' Certainly a preacher without ...
— A Vanished Arcadia, • R. B. Cunninghame Graham

... he will find, that not to Christianity in particular, but at best to Religion in general, perhaps to mere Morality, their homage is intended to be paid. With Christianity, as distinct from these, they are little acquainted; their views of it have been so cursory and superficial, that far from discerning its characteristic essence, they have little more than perceived those exterior circumstances which distinguish it from other forms of Religion. There are some few facts, and perhaps ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... water, either of small or large extent, have ever been detected on the surface, the superficial resemblance, in small telescopes, of the large grey tracts to the appearance which we may suppose our terrestrial lakes and oceans would present to an observer on the moon, naturally induced the early selenographers ...
— The Moon - A Full Description and Map of its Principal Physical Features • Thomas Gwyn Elger

... for Satyr in another of his celebrated Pieces, which is called The Satyr upon Man. What Vice or Frailty can a Discourse correct, which censures the whole Species alike, and endeavours to shew by some Superficial Strokes of Wit, that Brutes are the more excellent Creatures of the two? A Satyr should expose nothing but what is corrigible, and make a due Discrimination between those who are, and those who are not the proper ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... that moment, and the group politely wavered between duty and inclination. Temperley and Miss Du Prel strolled off together, his vast height bent deferentially towards her. This air of deference proved somewhat superficial. Miss Du Prel found that his opinions were of an immovable order, with very defined edges. In some indescribable fashion, those opinions partook of the general elegance of his being. Not for worlds would he ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... concreteness is ignorance. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of by common sense. Its work-a-day world is not even a faint reflex of the vast and complex universe. It sees but the immediate, the obvious, the superficial. So instead of being concrete, it is, in truth, the very opposite. Nor is empirical science with its predilection for "facts" better off. Every science able to cope with a mere fragmentary aspect of the world and from a partial ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... about this whole discussion. It was marked with that fatally superficial and mechanical character which distinguished all literary criticism in Europe before the time of Lessing in Germany, and of Wordsworth and Coleridge in England. In particular, the cardinal point on which ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... 'Mankind are very superficial and dastardly: they begin upon a thing, but, meeting with a difficulty, they fly from it discouraged; but they have the means ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... but least welcome visitors was a Monsieur Dupont, a man of polished manners certainly, the superficial polish of the Frenchman, but of no other attraction, and even in that there was something about him to Mary particularly repulsive. He had seen some threescore years; his countenance, in general inexpressive, at times betrayed that strong and evil ...
— The Mother's Recompense, Volume II. - A Sequel to Home Influence in Two Volumes • Grace Aguilar

... that lesson to our hearts, in this superficial, painted, rushing generation. Let us beware of resting our hope to satisfy the eternal claims of God upon some great event in our spiritual history of long ago. It is not enough to have been converted. It is not enough to have had the adoption of the Father. It is ...
— Our Master • Bramwell Booth

... averages yielded by the four methods. Although these general results hide certain important facts which will be exhibited later, they clearly indicate that an increase in the number of tests per day does not necessarily result in an increase in the rapidity of habit formation. Should we attempt, on superficial examination, to interpret the figures of this table, we would doubtless say that in efficiency the two-five-test method stands first, the continuous-test method last, while the ten-test and twenty-test methods occupy ...
— The Dancing Mouse - A Study in Animal Behavior • Robert M. Yerkes

... heart ached for the Harry he had seemed to her before his rebellion. She fancied that she would enjoy him as of old if the litter of inconvenient persons and facts lying between them could but be cleared away; with a voluntary blindness not uncommon in parents, refusing to recognize that these superficial differences were only the outward expression of a fundamental alienation within. At all events, it was futile to speculate about the matter, since the width of the continent and her son's intense distaste for letter-writing separated them. She had come, therefore, to turn all her attention ...
— The Squirrel-Cage • Dorothy Canfield

... Niagara Falls,—or, perhaps, after traversing a distance like that which separates England from Mesopotamia, reaches the vast table-lands of the Far West and inspects their interesting fauna of antelopes and buffaloes, red Indians and Mormons. In a journey of this sort one gets a very superficial view of the peculiarities, physical and social, which characterize the different portions of our country; and in this there is nothing to complain of, since the knowledge gained in a vacation-journey cannot ...
— American Political Ideas Viewed From The Standpoint Of Universal History • John Fiske

... rather extort it from you, than you be too willing to display it. Hence you will be thought modest, and to have more knowledge than you really have. Never seem more wise or learned than the company you are in. He who affects to shew his learning, will be frequently questioned; and if found superficial, will be sneered at; if otherwise, he will be deemed a pedant. Real merit will always shew itself, and nothing can lessen it in the opinion of the world, but a man's exhibiting ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... the fact that such emphasis is a means of getting us away from an unduly scholastic and formal notion of education. Schools are, indeed, one important method of the transmission which forms the dispositions of the immature; but it is only one means, and, compared with other agencies, a relatively superficial means. Only as we have grasped the necessity of more fundamental and persistent modes of tuition can we make sure of placing the scholastic methods in their ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... make it a bewilderingly rich but rather 'difficult' work. It cannot be recommended to the lover of light drama or the seeker of momentary distraction. The Road to Damascus does not deal with the superficial strata of human life, but probes into those depths where the problems of God, and death, and ...
— The Road to Damascus - A Trilogy • August Strindberg

... irritates a German, because he is conscious that he is not a subject, but a citizen of the empire. Yet he will not infer from the English King's use of the term in formal utterances that an Englishman is a churl, a "servant of his King." That would be a superficial political conception. ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... say: and by what divination? By a test more searching than any mere peculiarity of manners, dress, or speech; by a touchstone able to divide the gold of essential character from the alloy of superficial characteristics; by a standard which disregarded alike Franklin's fur cap and Putnam's old felt hat, Morgan's leather leggings and Witherspoon's black silk gown and John Adams's lace ruffles, to recognize and approve, beneath ...
— The Americanism of Washington • Henry Van Dyke

... seen directly that we were not relations? but I see how it is; I pity you, poor imperfect being with only two eyes and one mouth, and no trunk," answered the fly. "It is natural that thou hast only a superficial knowledge. This little upstart who devours the sugar as if he did not mean to leave any of it for any one else, this little person, who has but a few minutes ago escaped from his shell, yet hanging ...
— Piccolissima • Eliza Lee Follen

... much as you expected? I'm glad of that, Kate. Only superficial changes, at most. Just give me a little time to pull together and get my legs under me again, and—forward march! Charge the forts! ...
— The Air Trust • George Allan England

... consists of two halves equal in weight, termed hemispheres, right and left; and the grey matter covering their surface is thrown into folds with fissures between, thus increasing enormously the superficial area of the grey matter and of the neurones of which it consists without increasing the size of the head. The pattern of the folds or convolutions shows a general similarity in all human beings, certain fissures being always present; and around these fissures which are ...
— The Brain and the Voice in Speech and Song • F. W. Mott

... Again, the superficial veins of the belly may be enlarged from any cause which interferes with the proper circulation through the vessels inside. Hence they are often enlarged in grown people in dropsy, and hence too in infants ...
— The Mother's Manual of Children's Diseases • Charles West, M.D.

... from ten to eighty arpents. It should be explained that the arpen de Paris, in terms of which colonial land measurements were invariably expressed, served both as a unit of length and as a unit of area. The lineal arpent was the equivalent of one hundred and ninety-two English feet. The superficial arpent, or arpent of area, contained about five-sixths of an acre. The habitant's customary frontage on the river was, accordingly, from about a thousand to two thousand feet, while his farm extended rearwards a distance of anywhere from under ...
— The Seigneurs of Old Canada: - A Chronicle of New-World Feudalism • William Bennett Munro

... the objections which may be made to the minuteness on some occasions of my detail of Johnson's conversation, and how happily it is adapted for the petty exercise of ridicule, by men of superficial understanding and ludicrous fancy; but I remain firm and confident in my opinion, that minute particulars are frequently characteristick, and always amusing, when they relate to a distinguished man. I am therefore exceedingly unwilling that any thing, however ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... lead to perfect happiness, seemed to plain! Alas! it is often so! and the resisting forces which make all such harmony and delight impossible are not recognized by the bystanders, hardly by the actors. But if these resisting forces are only superficial, or constitutional, they are but the necessary discipline here, and do not radically affect the love which will make all things right ...
— Sylvia's Lovers — Complete • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... influence had lasted some 150 years, and as far as Italy is concerned it was Arabic learning, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas who slew the troubadours more certainly than Simon de Montfort and his crusaders. The day of superficial [108] prettiness and of the cult of form had passed; love conjoined with learning, a desire to pierce to the roots of things, a greater depth of thought and earnestness were the characteristics of the ...
— The Troubadours • H.J. Chaytor

... is not to blame for his superficial delusion to the contrary, especially if he has written a book that has set everyone talking, because it is of a vital interest. It may be of a vital interest, without being at all the kind of book people want ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... to clear away the superficial irritations of the morning, but he remained miserable. It seemed proved beyond a doubt that Rachel was indifferent to him, for she had scarcely looked at him, and she had talked to Mr. Flushing with just ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... the phenomenon of the time, as it presented itself to those who did not sympathise in it, the Article proceeds to account for it; and this it does by considering it as a reaction from the dry and superficial character of the religious teaching and the literature of the last generation, or century, and as a result of the need which was felt both by the hearts and the intellects of the nation for a deeper ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... Denry only earned eighteen shillings a week, replied with only superficial politeness that a dress-suit was out of the question; he had already taken more orders than he could execute without killing himself. The whole town had uprisen as one man and demanded ...
— The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... Wrapped in obscurity, in some sheltered nook, remote from the great stir of men, they passed a life at once unprofitable and glorious; the least part of what they ransacked would appal the industry of a modern student, yet the most superficial of modern students might effect more for mankind. They lived among oracles, but they gave none forth. And yet, even in this very barrenness, there seems something high; it was a rare and great spectacle—Men, living aloof from the roar and strife ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... between fleets of steamships and fleets of galleys moved by oars, which have a long and well-known history, it will be well not to be carried away by this analogy until it has been thoroughly tested. The resemblance is indeed far from superficial. The feature which the steamer and the galley have in common is the ability to move in any direction independent of the wind. Such a power makes a radical distinction between those classes of vessels ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... the laughter with which the big man enjoyed his own pleasantry. His mirth had some superficial signs of shamefacedness, but it was hopeful underneath. "The City!" he echoed, with meaning. "That's the curse of it. What do I know about the City? What business have I in the City? As you said, I'm the amateur. ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... was one of the very first to see the similarity of the two cases, and wired at once to Redmond, though it can of course only be taken as a very superficial verdict of the South African Premier on the real grievances underlying the movement, since he could hardly be expected to understand Sinn Fein, much less those subtle provocations which eventually counselled the mad appeal to Germany; ...
— Six days of the Irish Republic - A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics • Louis Redmond-Howard

... watch-word which, notwithstanding their ostensible difference in principles, was common to them, was this—"keep the people in ignorance, or neither of our parties will be able to plunder them." Therefore, though to the superficial observer, they appeared inveterately hostile to each other, yet I repeat, that they had the same object in view, and this was proved beyond all the possibility of doubt when the Whigs came into power. For twenty long years had Mr. Fox and his ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 2 • Henry Hunt

... the Pictish Damsel, we have an easy Chair prepared at the upper End of the Table; which we doubt not but she will grace with a very hideous Aspect, and much better become the Seat in the native and unaffected Uncomeliness of her Person, than with all the superficial Airs of the Pencil, which (as you have very ingeniously observed) vanish with a Breath, and the most innocent Adorer may deface the Shrine with a Salutation, and in the literal Sense of our Poets, snatch and ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... "Kamah," a measure of length, a fathom, also called "Ba'a." Both are omitted in that sadly superficial book, Lane's ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... always noticed and recognized as art by the superficial critic. I think this is what made some people think Irving was at his best in such parts as Louis XI, Dubosc, and Richard III. He could have played Louis XI three times a day "on his head," as the saying is. In "The Lyons Mail," Dubosc the wicked man was easy enough—strange that ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... if she had no one to see her, no one to look after her. She said that her comrades at the theater were kind enough,—idiots,—but obliging and compassionate (in a superficial sort ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... consult an hygienic-dietetic physician, and follow his advice closely, since skin diseases are among the most obstinate to overcome. The physician will be able to determine whether there is real constitutional trouble or merely a superficial skin disease. Thus the underlying evil, if any, can be correctly treated, in combination with such specialities ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... confined to the main question. First of all are given general references, and then follows a list of individual authors and books. Finally, there are special lists on topics on which the study in the present work is most intensive. In a few instances books that are superficial in method or prejudiced in tone have been mentioned as it has seemed necessary to try to consider all shades of opinion even if the expression was not always adequate. On the other hand, not every source mentioned in the footnotes is included, for sometimes these references ...
— A Social History of the American Negro • Benjamin Brawley

... fine words, full conceptions. This painting is not so much carried on by dexterity of hand as by having the object more vividly imprinted in the soul. Gallus speaks simply because he conceives simply: Horace does not content himself with a superficial expression; that would betray him; he sees farther and more clearly into things; his mind breaks into and rummages all the magazine of words and figures wherewith to express himself, and he must have them more than ordinary, because ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... was right in the main. Tchartkoff was apt to indulge in the flashy and the superficial. But he had sufficient strength of mind to control this dangerous tendency, and a purer taste was gradually but perceptibly developing itself in him. As yet he could not quite appreciate all the depth of Raphael, but he was strongly fascinated by the broad and rapid touch of Guido; he would ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... to this chatter with mixed feelings. If she seemed superficial, he reconciled himself by a glance at her beautiful silken hair, at her laughing brown eyes, at her roguish dimples, and instantly he pleaded with his cooler reason for pardon for the lovely girl—he for nineteen years had had other things beside pleasure to think ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... Bavarian envoy, whose views of the state of Europe appear to me very just. This letter must unavoidably prove dull to your Lordship, but when I have the pleasure of seeing you, I hope to make some little amends, though I feel this is a very superficial way of viewing a country, even with reference merely to the beauties of Nature. We have not met with many English; there is scarcely a third part as many in the country as there was last year. A brother of Lord Grey is in the house where we now are, and Lord Ashburton ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... the union of the vitriolic acid with copper, turned to a dark green the moment that it was put to the acid air, which it absorbed, though slowly. Two pieces, as big as small nuts, absorbed three ounce measures of the air in about half an hour. The green colour was very superficial; for it was easily wiped or ...
— Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air • Joseph Priestley

... felt, an amused comfortable curiosity. Nothing in the least like that flash of jealousy he had felt over Novelli. If it had occurred to him to try to explain the difference to himself and had he taken the trouble to skim off the superficial explanation,—that Portia Stanton's husband belonged in Paula's world and that a tramp genius who came around to tune pianos did not,—he might have got down to the recognition of the fact that the character Paula had sketched for him last night was a grotesque and not therefore ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... if we grant that the East has a right to its difference, it is not realised in what we differ. That nursery tale from nowhere about St. George and the Dragon really expresses best the relation between the West and the East. There were many other differences, calculated to arrest even the superficial eye, between a saint and a dragon. But the essential difference was simply this: that the Dragon did want to eat St. George; whereas St. George would have felt a strong distaste for eating the Dragon. In most of the stories he killed the Dragon. In many of the stories ...
— A Miscellany of Men • G. K. Chesterton

... soul to be trained, carefully guided and directed to God, entered not into the calculations of this giddy, superficial woman. ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... him, when, a good deal to my surprise, I discovered that he was no other than Gurn. He escaped me that time, but when he was caught later on I found that he has an unmistakable scar inside the palm of his right hand; it is fading now, for the burn was only superficial, but it is there. Now do you ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... the woman question in Europe is pushed into the background by the all-absorbing struggle still going on in various forms between the republican and monarchical principle, between the vital present and the moribund past; but the most superficial observer must perceive, that the amelioration of the lamentable situation of European womanhood is sure to be one of the first problems to come to the front for resolution, as soon as liberty gains ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... some doubt about his movements he beheld a man coming along the road, and was soon confronted by his former competitor, Havill. The first instinct of each was to pass with a nod, but a second instinct for intercourse was sufficient to bring them to a halt. After a few superficial words had been spoken Somerset said, ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... not, in matters of a purely speculative nature, be detected as a legitimate source of falsity and error. In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found. Nature herself seemed to afford me corroboration of these ideas. In the contemplation of the heavenly ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... wonderful facility of adaptation of the female mind, that women joined in these conversations as readily as men, and frequently with far more brilliancy, in spite of the range of reading which it must require to obtain even a superficial knowledge of the subjects of discourse. Fanny Lewald is one of these prodigies. She has studied every thing from the Hegelian philosophy downwards. She is as great in revolutions as in ribbons, and is as amusing when talking sentiment over oysters ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... short, corpulent, flourishing, somewhat florid-complexioned men with jaded eyes, and lower lips that had begun to hang already. But for an exquisite refinement of accent, an urbane courtesy, and an ease of manner that could change in a moment to insolence, a superficial observer might have taken them for a couple of bankers. Any such mistake would have been impossible, however, if the listener could have heard them converse, and seen them on their guard with men whom they feared, vapid and commonplace with their equals, slippery with the inferiors ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... animals, and how, ever after, his knowledge of anatomy assisted him in his classifications, and his classifications threw new light again on his anatomical investigations,—each science thus helping to fertilize the other. He was not one of those superficial observers who are in haste to announce every new fact that they chance to find, and his first paper[2] specially devoted to classification gave to the world the ripe fruit of years of study. This was followed by his great work, "Le Regne ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... and pity; our weak, unthinking pride is humbled under the dispensations of a mysterious wisdom. Some tears might be drawn from me, if such a spectacle were exhibited on the stage. I should be truly ashamed of finding in myself that superficial, theatric sense of painted distress, whilst I could exult over it in real life. With such a perverted mind, I could never venture to show my face at a tragedy. People would think the tears that Garrick formerly, or that Siddons not long since, have extorted ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... have a mind, or had one ... some—some spirit and independence, too. But I wasn't trained to express myself that way; that was all ironed down flat in me. I never had any education, except what was superficial—showy. I was never taught to think, or to do anything—or to have any part in serious things. No one ever told me that I ought to justify my existence, to pay my way. Nobody ever thought of me as fit to have any share in anything useful or important—fit ...
— V. V.'s Eyes • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... of the banker Adolphus of Manheim, greatly spoiled by her parents. In 1800 she married the Strasbourg banker, Aldrigger, who spoiled her as badly as they had done and as later did the two daughters whom she had by her husband. She was superficial, incapable, egotistic, coquettish and pretty. At forty years of age she still preserved almost all her freshness and could be called "the little Shepherdess of the Alps." In 1823, when the baron ...
— Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A — Z • Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe

... the vestiges left in the track of a traveller with the traveller himself. Death literally makes a skeleton of man; so man metaphorically makes a skeleton of Death! All these representations of death, however beautiful, or pathetic, or horrible, are based on superficial appearances, misleading analogies, arbitrary fancies, perturbed sensibilities, not on a firm hold of realities, insight of truth, and philosophical analysis. They are all to be brushed aside as phantoms of nightmare or artificial creations of fiction. ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... drifted in icebergs over valleys, and perched sometimes on mountain tops. To it also must be referred the till of Scotland and the great brown clay of England, and our vast beds of gravel and superficial rubbish, connected with the deluvium in the history of ossiferous caverns, of which that examined by Dr. BUCKLAND at Kirkdale is an example. They occur in the calcareous strata, as the great caverns generally do, and have in all instances been ...
— An Expository Outline of the "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" • Anonymous

... desire to leave the hospital during his term of service, but his hurts were all superficial and healed rapidly, so that in a fortnight's time the Surgeon pronounced him fit to return to duty. He cursed inwardly tha officer's zeal in keeping the ranks as full as possible, and went back to his company to find it preparing to go into ...
— The Red Acorn • John McElroy

... at first superficial, and limited to outward practices; the warrior bent the knee, but his heart remained the same. The spirit of the new religion could not as yet penetrate his soul; he remained doubtful between old manners and new beliefs, and after fits of repentance and relapses into savagery, the converted chieftain ...
— A Literary History of the English People - From the Origins to the Renaissance • Jean Jules Jusserand

... crowd my observations so close (to bring Hampton Court, Windsor, Blenheim, Oxford, the Bath and Bristol all into one letter; all those remarkable places lying in a line, as it were, in one point of the compass) as to have made my letter too long, or my observations too light and superficial, as others have done ...
— From London to Land's End - and Two Letters from the "Journey through England by a Gentleman" • Daniel Defoe

... in tea lay the sole importance of Phil's announcement; and yet, subjected to even the most superficial analysis, Mr. Montgomery's sensations were not in the least attributable to the thought of tea. Tea in the sense intended by Phil was wholly commonplace,—a combination of cold meat, or perhaps of broiled chicken, with hot biscuits, and honey or jam, or ...
— Otherwise Phyllis • Meredith Nicholson

... much less through nasal psalm-singing butchers and brewers building a scaffold for the king. So, in our own time, the great question that so sorely rent us was seen by taste and imagination in the form of delicate, highly-cultured women, of a superficial tranquil elegance of society, of patriarchal tradition, of easy knowledge of the world, and the smooth habit of society upon the one hand; and upon the other, often in the form of a queer medley of grotesque people, each more extravagant than the other, and ...
— From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 • George William Curtis

... its successors. Galleries were added to the original design to secure space additional to what was naturally deemed at first an ample allowance for all comers. Before ground had been well broken the demands of British exhibitors alone ran up to four hundred and seventeen thousand superficial feet instead of the two hundred and ten thousand—half the whole area—allotted them. The United States were offered forty thousand feet; France, fifty thousand, afterward increased to sixty-five; the Zollverein, thirty thousand, and India the same. A comparison ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... Berg, by means of him,—well acted on by the Tobacco-Parliament for the space of those six weeks. During which, accordingly, almost from the first day after that Hotham Dinner of April 3d, the answer of the royal mind, with superficial fluctuations, always is: "Wilhelmina at once, if you choose; likely enough we might agree about Crown-Prince Friedrich too, if once all were settled; but of the Double-Marriage, at this present time, HORE NIT, [Ranke, i. 285 n.] I ...
— History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 • Thomas Carlyle

... superficial observer who, as guests of royalty, loitered through the sunny days which marked the closing years of Louis XV., France presented the aspect of a gay, thoughtless, happy, butterfly nation, whose government on the whole satisfied the ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891 • Various

... forced me to abandon this idea. They also possess the long beak, and could readily make such perforations if they wished; yet I have never seen one take up his stand upon an acorn and work at it with his augur. Then why this fruitless labour? A mere nothing suffices these abstemious creatures. A superficial operation performed upon the surface of a tender leaf ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... needed only the first lesson to demonstrate to him that these superficial conclusions were quite wrong. It was one thing to cut a board haphazard; but quite another matter to cut it evenly, and on a ruled line. Nor was the driving of nails as simple as he had supposed. At the end of the first ...
— The Story of Porcelain • Sara Ware Bassett

... in the old Roman spirit. And if the Government decided to throw persons of unpopular or eccentric views to the lions in the Albert Hall or the Earl's Court stadium tomorrow, can you doubt that all the seats would be crammed, mostly by people who could not give you the most superficial account of the views in question. Much less unlikely things have happened. It is true that if such a revival does take place soon, the martyrs will not be members of heretical religious sects: they will be Peculiars, Anti-Vivisectionists, Flat-Earth men, scoffers at the laboratories, or infidels ...
— Androcles and the Lion • George Bernard Shaw

... adapted to intellectual pursuits,—a man of fine powers of mind, but not fully progressed in thought. As far as he knew, at the time of this writing, he was appreciative of your suggestions, and of scientific progress. He was a cool-headed man,—not a light or superficial thinker, but thought on deep subjects. He was a brain worker; it makes my brain tired. I think he published books—poems. I think he was more a poet than a prose writer. He was not like Tom Moore—there was nothing light or superficial—his poetry was grand, solid, ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... say of Mr. Lan? One is tempted to question, "How shall the superficial enter into ...
— The Fulfilment of a Dream of Pastor Hsi's - The Story of the Work in Hwochow • A. Mildred Cable

... like all other things, would, perhaps, soon have become tiresome to me; but that there was infinite variety in her humour. At first I had thought her merely superficial, and intent solely upon her own amusement; but I soon found that she had a taste for literature, beyond what could have been expected in one who lived so dissipated a life; a depth of reflection that seemed inconsistent with the rapidity with which she thought; ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... only superficial; but, all the same, they were four ugly scratches down the fleshy part of the man's left arm, while over his right shoulder there were three more marks, which had bled pretty freely; and now, as I stood by helpless myself, I listened as he told the attendants ...
— Gil the Gunner - The Youngest Officer in the East • George Manville Fenn

... CAUSE: Superficial eruptions of the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue. Frequently seen during convalescence of intermittent fever. This condition may also follow diseases of the digestive system, as Indigestion, etc., due to the blood absorbing toxic materials which break out in the form ...
— The Veterinarian • Chas. J. Korinek

... The breaking of a bottle or glass in the hand is apt to cut through the outermost coat of the artery at the wrist (radial) and thus to cause a local weakening of the tube which is gradually followed by dilatation. Also when an artery is wounded and the wound in the skin and superficial structures heals, the blood may escape in to the tissues, displacing them, and by its pressure causing them to condense and form the sac-wall. The coats of an artery, when diseased, may be torn by a severe strain, the blood escaping into the condensed tissues which thus ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Part 1, Slice 1 • Various

... but of apprehension, overwhelmed her for a time. But Angelique's mind was too intensely selfish, hard, and superficial, to give way to the ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... sympathised, though they were antagonistic to the politics of her life. He had his ideas about books too, as to manners of life, as to art, and even ethics. Whether or no in all this there was not much that was superficial only, she was not herself deep enough to discover. Nor would she have been deterred from admiring him had she been told that it was tinsel. Such were the acquirements, such the charms, that she loved. Here was a young ...
— The Duke's Children • Anthony Trollope

... the superficial play of thought that is put before us. The light stir and vibration of Milly's sensibility from hour to hour is all we actually see; for the most part it is very light, very easy and airy, as she moves with her ...
— The Craft of Fiction • Percy Lubbock

... was quick to feel the pain of others and shrank from adding to it—these, indeed, were the two chief articles of the unformulated creed which directed his actions. His optimism was of youth and superficial, but the sense of the brotherhood of human suffering touched his heart in a way that made compassion and tenderness appear to him to be the highest and simplest of duties. It was Ida's temper that answered his avowal. Still staring ...
— Elder Conklin and Other Stories • Frank Harris

... for our statement which was true. The argument which would have been our salvation did not occur to us at the moment. Hence we make it a rule to attack a counter-argument, even though to all appearances it is true and forcible, in the belief that its truth is only superficial, and that in the course of the dispute another argument will occur to us by which we may upset it, or succeed in confirming the truth of our statement. In this way we are almost compelled to become dishonest; ...
— The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; The Art of Controversy • Arthur Schopenhauer

... on those who give only a superficial glance at a Yuban advertisement is to arouse a keen desire to enjoy a cup of Yuban coffee. To induce such a state of mind is, of course, the object of all ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... to show the truly awful and more than Chinese populousness of this ancient State of Indiana, which was admitted into the Union so long ago as 1816, we may observe that its superficial extent is thirty-six thousand square miles, or twenty-three millions and forty thousand acres. The population in 1840, black and white all told, amounted to the astounding number of six hundred and eighty-five ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... necessity. With the first glimpse of her face, when he saw the violet flame of her anger go ruddy with surprise and relief, then fluid and sparkling as a culminating change of emotion, he felt cheap for having asked himself the question—which now seemed so superficial—whether she were good-looking or not. She was, undoubtedly, yes, undoubtedly good-looking in a way of ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... and important chapter. We might prove in it, beyond contradiction, that all the abuses of national governments, have sprung from those of domestic government, from that government called patriarchal, which superficial minds have extolled without having analyzed it. Numberless facts demonstrate, that with every infant people, in every savage and barbarous state, the father, the chief of the family, is a despot, and a cruel and insolent ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... most remarkable that the history of Arctic navigation can show. They at once overturned all the theories which, on the ground of an often superficial study of preceding unsuccessful voyages, had been set up regarding the state of the ice east of Novaya Zemlya, and they thus form the starting-point of a new era in the ...
— The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II • A.E. Nordenskieold

... shortest of them all, dazzles the contemplation by the rapidity and the martial character of its incidents. The fourth, the organization of the Government, by the splendors of genius elicited, and the felicity of the new form of government presented, satisfies the superficial inquirer that, when the Constitution had been adopted, nothing remained to perfect the great achievement. But other nations have had successful revolutions, and have set up free constitutions, and have yet sunk again under reinvigorated despotism. ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... as possibly belonging to the ancient nucleus pueblo of Halona and illustrated in Pl. LVIII. Even the rough masonry of the kivas is partly surfaced with this medium, though many jagged stones are still visible. As a result of this practice it is now in many cases impossible to determine from mere superficial inspection whether the underlying masonry has been constructed of stone or of adobe; a difficulty that may be realized from an examination of the views of Zui in Chapter III. Where the fall of water, such as the discharge from a roof-drain, has removed the outer coating of mud that ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... next centuries may take such a course that the American Revolution will lose the great significance that is now attached to it, and will appear merely as the temporary separation of two kindred peoples whose inherent similarity was obscured by superficial differences resulting from dissimilar economic and social conditions." This statement does not appear as extravagant to-day as it did ten years ago. As early as 1894, Captain Mahan, the great authority ...
— From Isolation to Leadership, Revised - A Review of American Foreign Policy • John Holladay Latane

... calculation. These are striking illustrations, and the effect is perhaps heightened from their connection with a most sublime science, all of whose conclusions stand in open contradiction with those of superficial and vulgar observation. ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... she to me, a certain relief came into her face. All the while I was conscious of one strange thing. The Archduchess, although she had the Cardinal on one side and the Prince of Cleves on the other, was continually watching us. Her interest in their conversation was purely superficial. Her interest in us, on the contrary, was an absorbing one. I could not understand ...
— The Master Mummer • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... studied medicine and law without being able to decide on either of the two careers; I had worked for a banker for six months, and my services were so unsatisfactory that I was obliged to resign to avoid being discharged. My studies had been varied but superficial; my memory ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... afterwards became the first Countess Russell, was destined to a long, eventful life. As a girl she lived among those directing the changes of those times; as the wife of a Prime Minister of England unusually reticent in superficial relations but open in intimacy, in whom the qualities of administrator and politician overlay the detachment of sensitive reflection, she came to judge men and events by principles drawn from deep feelings and wide surveys; and in the ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... found it necessary to issue an edict against it; but this doctrine had gained too large headway to be arrested by argument or edict, and the bells may be heard ringing during storms to this day in various remote districts in Europe.(245) For this was no mere superficial view. It was really part of a deep theological current steadily developed through the Middle Ages, the fundamental idea of the whole being the direct influence of the bells upon the "Power of the Air"; and it is perhaps worth our while to go ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... short spasm of gayety, after all, was only the fitful and feverish symptom of the deadly weakness of the body politic. It was merely superficial; and under it was a fixed and impenetrable gloom. The desertions from the army were assuming fearful proportions, that no legislation or executive rigor could diminish; supplies of bare food were becoming frightfully scarce, and even the wealthiest began to be pinched for necessaries of ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... 'Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyma'—an amazing verse which, by the way, is literally transcribed out of Ariosto ('Cosa, non detta in prosa mai, ne in rima'). But even now the acquaintance of the British public with the productions of continental writers is superficial and spasmodic, and such was the ignorance of English scholars of this earlier period, that Birch maintained that Milton's drafts, to be referred to presently, indicated his intention of writing an opera (!); while as late as 1776 the poet Mickle, notwithstanding Voltaire's ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... in consequence of the large amount of calcareous matter which enters into its composition, possesses a fertility that a superficial observer would scarcely ...
— Old Mackinaw - The Fortress of the Lakes and its Surroundings • W. P. Strickland

... then he found himself being introduced by his first name to two highly colored queens of the ballet, and all four proceeded at once to a private supper-room. Albert found the girls bright, vivacious, and expressive, so far as a superficial use of slang goes: they ordered the choicest and highest-priced items on the bill of fare; called for champagne and drank it freely; addressed their escorts as "Cully," "Old Sport," and "Old Stocking;" smoked cigarettes; ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... may be destitute of youth and beauty, or other superficial attractions, which distinguish many of her sex: should this be the case, remember many a plain face conceals a heart of exquisite sensibility and merit; and her consciousness of the defect makes her peculiarly awake to the ...
— The Wedding Guest • T.S. Arthur

... good and evil fought a hard battle in his soul. His innate nobility of character urged him not to profit by his advantage, to withdraw from a person whom he had discovered to be so superficial. His bitter contempt for women whispered to carry the relation which had assumed a frivolous turn, to the doubtful end. Baseness triumphed over nobility, and let any man of twenty-four who feels that he is guiltless cast the first stone at the prince. But his evil genius farther ...
— How Women Love - (Soul Analysis) • Max Simon Nordau

... the more superficial stains of travel, the two women sat at table in the half-dismantled dining-room. It was a meal not easily to be forgotten, made the more fantastic by Mrs. Heth's determined attempts to act as if nothing in particular ...
— V. V.'s Eyes • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... genius, unless the principle of these values had in a particular connection been subjected in advance to some challenge or some test. Why should it take such a flood of suggestion, such a luxury of acquaintance and contact, only to make superficial specimens? Why shouldn't the art of living inward a little more, and thereby of digging a little deeper or pressing a little further, rather modestly replace the enviable, always the enviable, young ...
— Letters from America • Rupert Brooke

... belonged to the same scheme of creation. One was secretly amazed to see them standing together, speaking to each other, having words in common, understanding each other. And yet! . . . Our psychological sense is the crudest of all; we don't know, we don't perceive how superficial we are. The simplest shades escape us, the secret of changes, of relations. No, upon the whole, the only feature (and yet with enormous differences) which Therese had in common with her sister, as I told Dona ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... had seemed to abandon all claim to any rights of inheritance, and Garrett had thought of him as one comfortably dead. He had contemplated his own ultimate succession with the pleasurable certainty that it was absolutely the right thing. In his love for a rather superficial tradition he was a perfect Trojan, and might be relied on to continue existing conditions without any attempt at radical changes. Clare, too, would be ...
— The Wooden Horse • Hugh Walpole

... anything beyond the customs and superstitions of the simple folk about them. Their religion, which is so continually before us, furnishing the very mainspring of the fatal denouement, is of the most superficial sort, if it can be called religion at all. Whether you are bitten by a dog, a wolf, or a snake, or lose your eyesight, or are in danger of losing your lover, you run to the shrine of some saint for help. The religious feeling really runs no deeper. ...
— Frederic Mistral - Poet and Leader in Provence • Charles Alfred Downer

... organization or the existing environment of a given community may make it necessary, in the interests of all, to grant a large measure of power or prerogative to a single individual, or to the few, is fair matter for investigation. But the most cursory glance at the pages of history, the most superficial survey of the present condition of mankind, must make it evident that a far-seeing and enlightened social will has not been the determining factor in bringing into existence many of the institutions which are accepted by the actual social will of a ...
— A Handbook of Ethical Theory • George Stuart Fullerton

... being thin both in her figure and her emotions. She skirted tempestuously over the surface of things, was the most sentimental of human beings, was often in tears over reminiscences of books or the weather, was deeply religious in a superficial way, and really—although she would have been entirely astonished had you told her so—cared for no one in the world but herself. She was dressed always in dark colours, with the high shoulders of the day, elegant bonnets and little chains that jingled as she ...
— Jeremy • Hugh Walpole

... history. On the contrary, he is in no small part the history-maker; and, as such, should be treated with due respect by the history-compiler. The "dry bones" of history, its statistical averages, and so on, are all very well in their way; but they correspond to the superficial truth that history repeats itself, rather than to the deeper truth that history is an evolution. Anthropology, then, should not disdain what might be termed the method of the historical novel. To study the plot without studying the characters will never make sense ...
— Anthropology • Robert Marett

... know if you would call him that," said Grace, with simplicity. "The admirer is a superficial, conditional creature, and this person is ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... deal with embryonic processes so unfamiliar, and pursue them through so wide a range of animals in a brief space, that, in spite of the 200 illustrations, they will offer difficulty to many a reader. As our aim is to secure, not a superficial acquiescence in conclusions, but a fair comprehension of the truths of science, we have retained these chapters. However, I will give a brief and clear outline of the argument, so that the reader with little leisure may ...
— The Evolution of Man, V.1. • Ernst Haeckel

... appropriate dozing under the hooded light in a railway carriage, taking her place at a table d'hote in a provincial French town, or walking in the wind and sun along a foreign plage. After looking at the London to which he brought her, Gregory looked at her. Marriage had worked none of its even superficial disenchantments in him. After three months of intimacy, Karen still constantly arrested him with a sense of the undiscovered, the unforeseen. What it consisted in he could not have defined; she was simple, ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... obtain relief in the short period of three days, they must be considered out of the service, has very much that aspect; and the seeming relaxation of continuing until the state can have a reasonable time to provide other officers, will be thought only a superficial veil. I am now to request that you will convey my sentiments to the gentlemen concerned, and endeavour to make them sensible that they are in an error. The service for which the regiment was intended will not admit of delay. It must at all events march on Monday morning, in the first place to ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 3 (of 5) • John Marshall

... to is bitter and nauseous, if taken from the superficial roots—the part usually employed; the bark of the deeper parts is astringent by virtue of the ...
— The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines • T. H. Pardo de Tavera

... intelligences, or for impersonations; but the cause of the lucidity so exhibited, the nature of the channel by which the information is obtained, and the source of the information itself, are questions which, although they are apt to be treated glibly by a superficial critic, to whom they appear the most salient feature and the easiest of explanation, are really the most ...
— Mrs. Piper & the Society for Psychical Research • Michael Sage

... follows: "Since my first knowledge of his compositions I had played many of them in private circles at Milan and Vienna, without having succeeded in winning the approbation of my hearers. These works were, fortunately for them, too far above the then trivial level of taste to find a home in the superficial atmosphere of popular applause. The public did not fancy them, and few players understood them. Even in Leipzig, where I played the 'Carnival' at my second Gewandhaus concert, I did not obtain my customary applause. Musicians, even those who claimed to be connoisseurs ...
— Great Violinists And Pianists • George T. Ferris

... of the veins in the back of the hand are peculiar to each individual - as infallible, indestructible, and ineffaceable as finger prints or the shape of the ear. It is a system invented and developed by Professor Tamassia of the University of Padua, Italy. A superficial observer would say that all vein patterns were essentially similar, and many have said so, but Tamassia has found each to be characteristic and all subject to almost incredible diversities. There are six general classes in this case before us, two large veins crossed by a few secondary ...
— The Poisoned Pen • Arthur B. Reeve

... hushes came over the room as I vainly tried to see the point of Tompkins' story. Every one laughed at his jokes, but to me they seemed superficial and flippant. ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... given by theory, cannot be attributed to errors of observation. He is disposed to refer the cause of the phenomena, with Captain Sabine, to the want of homogeneousness in the earth, considered as a mass, or to the mere variations of density in the superficial strata. What tends to confirm this hypothesis, he says, is, that all observations show that an acceleration of the pendulum generally takes place on volcanic ground and a retardation on such as is sandy and argillaceous. ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 266, July 28, 1827 • Various

... therefore, was greeted at Nimes with a universal shout of joy; and a superficial-observer might have thought that all trace of the old religious leaven had disappeared. In fact, for seventeen years the two faiths had lived side by side in perfect peace and mutual good-will; for seventeen years men met either for business or for social purposes without ...
— Massacres Of The South (1551-1815) - Celebrated Crimes • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... is patent to everybody. The destruction of life, of property, of trade, strikes the most superficial observer as inevitable consequences of a state of war. At the outbreak of hostilities most of us foresaw that the uprooting would not stop short at the sacrifices of livelihood and occupation which ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... never can change into a nest of bees. And, even though individually and singly the Germans were all innocent and merely led astray, they would be none the less guilty in the mass. This is the guilt that counts, that alone is actual and real, because it lays bare, underneath their superficial innocence, the subconscious ...
— The Wrack of the Storm • Maurice Maeterlinck

... treasures which belong to him.[151] These "treasures" are of a first-rate character; both as to Drawings and Prints. He has no rival in the former department, and even surpasses the Emperor in the latter. I visited and examined his collection (necessarily in a superficial manner) twice; paying only particular attention to the drawings of the Italian school—including those of Claude Lorraine. I do not know what is in our own royal collection, but I may safely say that our friend Mr. Ottley has some finer Michel Angelos ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... young ladies appears to have been of the customary superficial order—of everything a little; a little music, a little drawing, a little Italian. With English she had the opportunity of becoming really conversant, as it was the language commonly spoken in the convent, where also she could not fail to acquire some insight into the English character. ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... effort seems to be made to isolate gangrene cases from the others, and the wounded invariably remain in the uniforms in which they fought until they reach the home hospital in the south of France. Their dressings, until they reach these home hospitals, are superficial ones. I have seen numerous cases with grave wounds, such as shattered thighs, which have remained in this condition for four and five weeks before finally being undressed and washed at ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... limitation of Hazlitt's that he neglects questions of structure and design. Doubtless he was reacting against the jargon of the older criticism with its lifeless and monotonous repetitions about invention and fable and unity, giving nothing but the "superficial plan and elevation, as if a poem were a piece of formal architecture."[67] In avoiding the study of the design of "Paradise Lost" or of the "Faerie Queene" he may have brought his criticism nearer to the popular ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... Pavlowa, the Russian dancer, hoping to remove the unfavorable impression of the former series. But it was only partially successful. Bok had made a mistake in recognizing the craze at all; he should have ignored it, as he had so often in the past ignored other temporary, superficial hysterics of the public. The Journal readers knew the magazine had made a mistake and frankly ...
— The Americanization of Edward Bok - The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After • Edward William Bok

... thought'; if so, modern thought has little to be proud of. Herodotus, however, describes the process of thought as consecrated by custom among the Egyptians. But there are many other practical ways in which the idea of supernatural power is attached to fetiches. Some fetich-stones have a superficial resemblance to other objects, and thus (on the magical system of reasoning) are thought to influence these objects. Others, again, are pointed out as worthy of regard in dreams or by the ghosts of the dead. ...
— Custom and Myth • Andrew Lang

... falling out of love. Especially was this the case in the days when the wooden clippers did finely to land you in Sydney or in Melbourne under the four full months. We all saw far too much of each other, unless, indeed, we were to see still more. Our superficial attractions mutually exhausted, we lost heart and patience in the disappointing strata which lie between the surface and the bed-rock of most natures. My own experience was confined to the round voyage of the ...
— Dead Men Tell No Tales • E. W. Hornung

... in snatches, and putting down his failure to this superficial way of reading, hoped to find the answer later on. He would not allow himself to believe in the truth of the answer which began, more and more often, to present ...
— Resurrection • Count Leo Tolstoy

... he said, briefly, "you won't find me!" He smiled, as he added: "Make as thorough a search as your duty demands. It needn't be perfunctory or superficial. Every South cabin will stand open to you. I shall be extremely busy, to ends which you will approve. I can't tell you what I shall be doing, because to do that, I should have to tell ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck



Words linked to "Superficial" :   looking, frivolous, sciolistic, skin-deep, dilettante, unimportant, outward, trivial, sounding, profound, superficial epigastric vein, insignificant, apparent, ostensible, glib, facile, dilettantish, superficies, dilettanteish, shallow, surface, careless, seeming



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