\ ˈdēm How to pronounce deem (audio) \
deemed; deeming; deems

Definition of deem

transitive verb

: to come to think or judge : consider deemed it wise to go slow those whom she deemed worthy a movie deemed appropriate for all ages

intransitive verb

: to have an opinion : believe

Synonyms for deem


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Originally, deem meant "to legally condemn." The word is still frequently used in contexts pertaining to the law but with the general meaning "to judge" or "to decide after inquiry and deliberation," 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."

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Such events may lead some business leaders to deem climate action a lower priority for now. Hubertus Meinecke, Fortune, 18 July 2022 GoFundMe does not always deem unverified fundraisers fraudulent. Caleigh Bartash, ABC News, 7 July 2022 Minorities have long had to apologize for the bad apples in our groups, the ones bigots use to make blanket pronouncements to deem us dangerous. Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2022 However the schools should not deem it inappropriate to teach this history based on the factual information that may make some uncomfortable in acknowledging and discussing racial disparities. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 The officer, who was working during summer school at North Little Rock High School, secured the handgun and contacted police, but the school did not go into lockdown because authorities did not deem it an immediate threat, the release states. Arkansas Online, 28 June 2022 And the Justice Department wouldn't deem this a prosecutable theft of government property under current guidelines, AP adds. Peter Weber, The Week, 5 May 2022 Other countries such as China take a more conservative stance and deem access to their data as a national security concern. Chrissa Mcfarlane, Forbes, 16 June 2022 Many insurance companies refuse to cover new weight loss drugs that their doctors deem medically necessary. New York Times, 31 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of deem

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for deem

Middle English demen, from Old English dēman; akin to Old High German tuomen to judge, Old English dōm doom

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Time Traveler for deem

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The first known use of deem was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

22 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for deem


\ ˈdēm How to pronounce deem (audio) \
deemed; deeming

Kids Definition of deem

: to have as an opinion She deemed it wise to wait.

More from Merriam-Webster on deem

Nglish: Translation of deem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deem for Arabic Speakers


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