deem

verb
\ˈdēm \

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

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Synonyms for deem

Synonyms

allow [chiefly Southern & Midland], believe, conceive, consider, esteem, feel, figure, guess, hold, imagine, judge, reckon [chiefly dialect], suppose, think

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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.

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

Many held outreach sessions for their members, who considered the program but deemed it unworkable for a variety of reasons. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Few N.Y. Businesses Sign Up for State Program to Bypass Trump Tax Limits," 2 Dec. 2018 This device doesn't have any of Lenovo's camera privacy features—no physical shutter, no camera disable button—but considering its niche nature, Lenovo probably didn't deem it necessary to include such features. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Lenovo Yoga Book 2018 review: The keyless keyboard returns, now in E Ink," 2 Nov. 2018 These controversial ingredients — including methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben — have been shown to possess weak estrogen-like properties, but the FDA deems them safe when used at very low levels (.01 to .3 percent) in cosmetics. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 However, when the residence was deemed too small, the royal couple built an additional castle—the one that still exists today—to fit their growing family. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Inside the Royals' Favorite Scottish Getaway, Balmoral Castle," 7 Aug. 2018 Former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter, Yulia, were poisoned four months ago in what British authorities deemed a deliberate attack. William Booth, Anchorage Daily News, "Woman exposed to nerve agent in southern England dies; police launch murder investigation," 9 July 2018 Even elections could be affected if the period of transition to a federal system is deemed an excuse to delay them (the next ones, for half the Senate and the entire House, are due in May). The Economist, "The president of the Philippines wants to change the constitution," 28 June 2018 The 48-year-old has been in prison ever since on what law experts deemed a sentence unprecedented in its harshness. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Man sentenced to 80 years for KC burglary walks free on Greitens' final day," 3 June 2018 In recent years, some states have passed laws allowing extreme risk protection orders, which let law enforcement confiscate guns from people who are deemed a danger to themselves or others. Anna North, Vox, "At Chicago’s Mercy Hospital, domestic violence became multiple homicide. It’s part of a disturbing pattern.," 21 Nov. 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near deem

deedy

deef

deejay

deem

de-emanate

de-emphasize

deemster

Statistics for deem

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deem

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

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More Definitions for deem

deem

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deem

: to think of (someone or something) in a particular way

deem

verb
\ˈdēm \
deemed; deeming

Kids Definition of deem

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on deem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deem

Spanish Central: Translation of deem

Nglish: Translation of deem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deem for Arabic Speakers

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