deemed; deeming; deems

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

Did you know?

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 In addition to the Sunset Strip, Ruscha photographed swimming pools, gas stations, parking lots and apartments, and collected the images into small books that provoked the ire of critics — and fellow photographers — who deemed the work lacking in style and meaning. Lucy McKeon, New York Times, 3 June 2024 Carter’s rough move was initially deemed just a foul, but after the game, the league upgraded the foul to a Flagrant 1 violation after a review. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 3 June 2024 Musgraves was part of the public outcry in response to Cruz's travel plans, which many deemed tone deaf. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 1 June 2024 For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts proposed a 2024 policy that would have deemed the use of anesthesia in endoscopies, colonoscopies and other vital procedure as medically unnecessary. Discover Magazine, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for deem 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deem.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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


Dictionary Entries Near deem

Cite this Entry

“Deem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to have an opinion : believe, suppose
deemed it wise to go slow

More from Merriam-Webster on deem

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