His aim was to free himself more and more from those unpleasantness and to give them a semblance of harmlessness and propriety.
Ivan Ilych, as one in whose sphere the matter did not lie, would have nothing to do with him: but if the man had some business with him in his official capacity, something that could be expressed on officially stamped paper, he would do everything, positively everything he could within the limits of such relations, and in doing so would maintain the semblance of friendly human relations, that is, would observe the courtesies of life.
There are no more uses of "semblance" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
Embarrassed as she was, she tried to maintain some semblance of dignity.
The substitute teacher had to battle to maintain even a semblance of order.