ap·​pear | \ə-ˈpir \
appeared; appearing; appears

Definition of appear 

intransitive verb

1a : to be or come in sight when the sun appears on the horizon

b : to show up He appears promptly at eight each day.

2 : to come formally before an authoritative body must appear in court today

3 : to have an outward aspect : seem She appears (to be) happy enough.

4 : to become evident or manifest There appears to be evidence to the contrary.

5 : to come into public view a performer who first appeared on a television variety show The book appeared in print a few years ago.

6 : to come into existence Hominids appeared late in the evolutionary chain.

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Examples of appear in a Sentence

She appears a nice enough person. Winning the election appears unlikely at this point. One by one, the stars appeared in the sky. The sun began to appear from behind the clouds. The airplanes seemed to appear out of nowhere. The storm disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared. The cat appears at our kitchen door every morning. One of the guests appeared a few minutes late. He appeared a little before eight last night.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But the Times op-ed page as a whole appears to believe this is something you — not journalists but you, the reader, average person — should be doing, part and parcel of good citizenship. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The “why can’t we all just get along” theory of politics," 3 Dec. 2018 To be fair, these are all mistakes that Tumblr appears to have foreseen. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Tumblr is already flagging innocent posts as porn," 3 Dec. 2018 Some financing options don’t show up in this data because the financing company’s name would appear in billing statements instead of Peloton’s. Rani Molla, Recode, "Peloton now has more U.S. customers than SoulCycle, new data suggests," 3 Dec. 2018 Forrest said Moseley had been depressed due to money problems and didn’t appear to be taking medication for her mental illness. Michael Kunzelman, The Seattle Times, "Girlfriend: Shooter prone to violence before deadly rampage," 28 Nov. 2018 This is also the time when personality changes may begin to appear, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Are There Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease to Watch For?," 28 Nov. 2018 The project trained citizen volunteers to digitally trace the buildings and roads that appear in satellite images, creating maps. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, "With Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Scientists Are Getting Smarter About Outbreaks," 8 Nov. 2018 Viewers created the #ISupportMollyMcCook hashtag as a way to back up the 28-year-old actress, who first appeared on the season 7 premiere of the series, which also stars Tim Allen and Nancy Travis. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Last Man Standing' Fans Shut Down Molly McCook's Haters After Recast Drama," 29 Oct. 2018 Park has also had opinion pieces on immigration published in the New York Times and the Harvard Crimson, in addition to appearing on MSNBC to share his views on DACA legislation. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "Rhodes Scholarship Awarded to DACA Recipient for the First Time Ever in 2018," 19 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of appear

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for appear

Middle English aperen, apperen, borrowed from Anglo-French apier-, aper-, tonic stem of aparer, apareir, aparoir, going back to Latin appārēre "to come into sight, be visible, be evident," from ad- ad- + pārēre "to be visible, be evident, be subject (to), comply (with)," of uncertain origin

Note: Latin pārēre has been compared with a supposed base *peh2-s-, suggested as the source of Avestan pišiiaṇt- "seeing," Armenian hayim "(I) look," Albanian pashë "(I) saw," though the limited nature of the evidence makes such a hypothesis speculative.

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Statistics for appear

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for appear

The first known use of appear was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for appear


ap·​pear | \ə-ˈpir \
appeared; appearing

Kids Definition of appear

1 : to come into sight Stars appeared in the sky.

2 : to present oneself appear in court

3 : seem sense 1 The runner in the lead appears to be tired.

4 : to come before the public The book appeared last year.

5 : to come into existence The first dinosaurs appeared around 215 million years ago.


Legal Definition of appear 

1 : to present oneself before a person or body having authority: as

a : to present oneself in court as a party to a lawsuit often through the representation of an attorney also : to participate as a party to a lawsuit in a way other than by physical presence (as by mail)

b : to present oneself in court as the attorney for a party to a lawsuit appearing for the defendant

2 : to have an outward look conduct that appears unethical

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More from Merriam-Webster on appear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with appear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for appear

Spanish Central: Translation of appear

Nglish: Translation of appear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of appear for Arabic Speakers

Comments on appear

What made you want to look up appear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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