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Appearance is the apparent likeness representing an external show. They are the way something appears to others.


  • All that glisters is not gold.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part II, Chapter XXXIII. Googe—Eglogs, etc. (1563). Udall—Ralph Royster Doyster. (1566).
  • Handsome is that handsome does.
  • Gold all is not that doth golden seem.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book II, Canto VIII, Stanza 14.
  • Will she pass in a crowd? Will she make a figure in a country church?
  • She looks as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.
  • A man of sense can artifice disdain,
    As men of wealth may venture to go plain.
    * * * * * *
    I find the fool when I behold the screen,
    For 'tis the wise man's interest to be seen.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 34-36.
  • Esse quam videri.
    • To be rather than to seem.
    • Latin version of the Greek maxim, found in Æschylus, Siege of Thebes.
  • Non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum.
    • Do not hold everything as gold which shines like gold.
    • Alanus de Insulis, Parabolæ, in Winchester College Hall-book of 1401–2.
  • O wad some power the giftie gie us
    To see oursel's as ithers see us!
    It wad fræ monie a blunder free us.
    And foolish notion;
    What airs in dress and gait wad lea'e us,
    And ev'n devotion!
  • Think not I am what I appear.
  • But every thyng which schyneth as the gold,
    Nis nat gold, as that I have herd it told.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Chanounes Yemanne's Tale. Preamble, line 17, 362.
  • Hyt is not al golde that glareth.
  • Habit maketh no monke, ne wearing of guilt spurs maketh no knight.
  • Appearances to save, his only care;
    So things seem right, no matter what they are.
  • Que tout n'est pas or c'on voit luire.
    • Everything is not gold that one sees shining.
    • Li Diz de freire Denise Cordelier (c. 1300).
  • We understood
    Her by her sight; her pure and eloquent blood
    Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought.
    That one might almost say her body thought.
    • John Donne, Funeral Elegies, Of the Progress of the Soul, by occasion of the Religious Death of Mistress Elizabeth Drury.
  • All, as they say, that glitters is not gold.
  • Cucullus (or Cuculla) non facit monachum.
    • The habit does not make the monk.
    • Quoted by Erasmus.
  • He was one of a lean body and visage, as if his eager soul, biting for anger at the clog of his body, desired to fret a passage through it.
  • By outward show let's not be cheated;
    An ass should like an ass be treated.
    • John Gay, Fables (1727), The Packhorse and Carrier, Part II, line 99.
  • Things are seldom what they seem,
    Skim milk masquerades as cream.
  • Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
    And heedless hearts is lawful prize,
    Nor all that glisters gold.
  • Gloomy as night he stands.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XI, line 744. Pope's translation.
  • Judge not according to the appearance.
    • John, VII. 24.
  • Fronti nulla fides.
  • Garde-toi, tant que tu vivras,
    De juger des gens sur la mine.
    • Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances.
  • Même quand l'oiseau marche on sent qu'il a des ailes.
  • All is not golde that outward shewith bright.
  • All is not golde that shewyth goldishe hewe.
  • Whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones.
    • Matthew, XXIII. 27.
  • All is not gold that glisteneth.
  • Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsæ.
    • They come to see, they come that they themselves may be seen.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 99.
  • Non semper ea sunt, quæ videntur; decipit
    Frons prima multos: rara mens intelligit
    Quod interiore condidit cura angulo.
    • Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of few perceives what has been carefully hidden in the recesses of the mind.
    • Phædrus, Book IV. Prol. 5.
  • L'habit ne fait le moine.
  • Looked as if she had walked straight out of the Ark.
  • A fair exterior is a silent recommendation.
  • Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.
    • An immense, misshapen, marvelous monster whose eye is out.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), III. 658.
  • Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
    Of the uncertainty after all, that we may-be deluded,
    That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
    That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only.
    May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills, shining and flowing waters,
    The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known.

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