• (RP) IPA: /əˈpɪəɹəns/
  • (America) IPA: /əˈpɪɹəns/


  1. The act of appearing or coming into sight; the act of becoming visible to the eye.
    His sudden appearance surprised me.
  2. A thing seen; a phenomenon; an apparition.
    There was a strange appearance in the sky.
  3. The way something looks; personal presence
    Synonyms: aspect, mien
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, lines 99–101, page 66 ↗:
      And now am come to ſee of whom ſuch noiſe / Hath walk'd about, and each limb to ſurvey, / If thy appearance anſwer loud report.
  4. Apparent likeness; the way which something or someone appears to others.
    Some people say I'm shallow because I care so much about my appearance.
    • 1769, The King James Bible, Book of Numbers ix. 15
      And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.
    • 1769, The King James Bible Gospel of John vii. 24
      Judge not according to the appearance.
  5. (philosophy, theology) That which is not substance, essence, hypostasis; the outward reality as opposed to the underlying reality
    Catholicism teaches that the Eucharist, while remaining under the physical appearance of bread and wine, becomes really and truly the body and the blood of Christ.
  6. The act of appearing in a particular place, or in society, a company, or any proceedings; a coming before the public in a particular character.
    A person makes his appearance as an historian, an artist, or an orator.
    David Beckham's first appearance with the LA Galaxy at Giants Stadium against the New York Red Bulls last night drew a crowd of 66237.
    • 1671, John Milton, Paradise Regained
      Will he now retire, After appearance, and again prolong Our expectation?
  7. (legal) An instance of someone coming into a court of law to be part of a trial, either in person or represented by an attorney or such like; a court appearance
  8. (medical) Chiefly used by nurses: the act of defecation by a patient.
    The patient had a small bowel obstruction and there was no appearance until after the obstruction resolved.
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