Simple Definition of deem
: to think of (someone or something) in a particular way
Examples of deem in a sentence
The principal will take whatever action she deems appropriate in this case.
<I deem it fitting that we mark this solemn occasion with a day of prayer and thanksgiving.>
Did You Know?
In the Middle Ages, "demen" was a fateful word. Closely related to "doom," this precursor of deem meant "to act as a judge" or "to sentence, condemn, or decree." These meanings passed to "deem" itself, but we haven't used "deem" to mean "legally condemn" since the early 17th century. Though "deem" is still frequently used in law contexts, today it means "judge" only in a broader sense of "to decide (something specified) regarding," as in "the act was deemed unlawful" or "the defendant is deemed to have agreed to the contract." Outside of the law, "deem" usually means simply "to consider." Some usage commentators consider "deem" pretentious, but its use is well established in both literary and journalistic contexts. We deem it perfectly acceptable.
Origin and Etymology of deem
Middle English demen, from Old English dēman; akin to Old High German tuomen to judge, Old English dōm doom
First Known Use: before 12th century
Rhymes with deem
beam, bream, cream, deme, dream, gleam, meme, neem, Nîmes, ream, scheme, scream, seam, seem, seme, steam, stream, team, teem, theme
DEEM Defined for Kids
Definition of deem for Students
: to have as an opinion <She deemed it wise to wait.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up deem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).