on the surface


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on the surface

Superficially, to all outward appearances, as in On the surface he appeared brave and patriotic, but his troops knew better. [Early 1700s]
See also: on, surface

on the surface

To all intents and purposes; to all outward appearances: a soldier who, on the surface, appeared brave and patriotic.
See also: on, surface
References in classic literature ?
Even as late as the fifth of December, one year, I saw some dimples on the surface, and thinking it was going to rain hard immediately, the air being fun of mist, I made haste to take my place at the oars and row homeward; already the rain seemed rapidly increasing, though I felt none on my cheek, and I anticipated a thorough soaking.
The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated by the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied to the foot of the Frog.