on the surface


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on the surface

Superficially; considering only the obvious details or outward appearance (of someone or something). On the surface, he seems like a really successful businessman, with his life all put together. But if you pull back the curtain a bit, you realize that his life is a mess. Everything looked fine on the surface, but after we began we realized that the plan was fundamentally flawed.
See also: on, surface
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the ˈsurface

when you consider the obvious things, and not the deeper, hidden things: On the surface she can be very pleasant and helpful, but underneath she’s got problems.The plan seems all right on the surface.
See also: on, surface
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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