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appearance, reality, truth, actuality


Suffix -ance, GRE 13 (Graduate Record Examination), Fashion and Flamboyance, Optical Phenomena and Radiance, Clothing and Appearance



How to pronounce semblance (audio)


Dictionary definition of semblance

The outward appearance or perception of something, often in contrast to the reality or truth.
"The old house bore little semblance to its former glory."

Detailed meaning of semblance

It is often used to describe a situation where there is a superficial or deceptive similarity to something, but the underlying reality is different. For example, a person may present a semblance of confidence or competence, but in reality, they may be anxious or inexperienced. Similarly, a situation may have the semblance of calm or order, but in reality, there may be underlying tensions or conflicts. The term is often used to describe situations that are complex or nuanced, and where the true nature of things may not be immediately apparent. In general, the noun semblance implies a sense of an appearance or presentation that may be misleading or incomplete, and suggests the need to look beneath the surface to discover the truth or reality of a situation.

Example sentences containing semblance

1. Despite their differences, there was a semblance of unity among the team.
2. Her smile gave a semblance of happiness, but her eyes told a different story.
3. The worn-out book retained only a semblance of its original cover.
4. In the chaos, they managed to maintain a semblance of order.
5. His attempts to imitate the famous singer had a semblance of talent.
6. The abandoned town had a semblance of life with its empty streets.

History and etymology of semblance

The noun 'semblance' traces its origins to the Old French word 'semblance,' which means 'appearance' or 'semblance.' It entered the English language in the 13th century. 'Semblance' refers to the outward appearance or perception of something, often in contrast to the underlying reality or truth. It emphasizes the idea that things may appear a certain way on the surface, creating an impression that can be deceptive or misleading. The etymology of 'semblance' effectively conveys the concept of something that looks or seems a certain way, masking the true nature or essence beneath. Whether used in discussions of semblance and reality, semblance of order, or semblance of normalcy, this term underscores the intriguing interplay between appearance and reality in human perception and experience.

Quiz: Find the meaning of semblance

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Further usage examples of semblance

1. The apology lacked any true semblance of sincerity.
2. The broken toy still held a semblance of its former charm.
3. She tried to maintain a semblance of normality despite the chaos in her life.
4. The politician's speech offered a semblance of hope to the struggling nation.
5. She clung to a semblance of routine during difficult times.
6. The art gallery showcased paintings that bore no semblance to reality.
7. Their friendship retained only a fragile semblance of what it used to be.
8. The detective tried to find a semblance of motive in the mysterious case.
9. The fading photograph held a semblance of memories from the past.
10. The makeshift shelter provided only a basic semblance of protection from the elements.
11. In the dark, the eerie sounds created a semblance of fear.
12. The actor's portrayal had a semblance of the character's true essence.
13. The ruins offered a haunting semblance of a once-thriving city.
14. The scientist hoped to find a semblance of life on the distant planet.

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