deem

verb \ ˈdēm \
Updated on: 11 Nov 2017

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

deem was our Word of the Day on 01/04/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of deem in a Sentence

  1. The principal will take whatever action she deems appropriate in this case.

  2. I deem it fitting that we mark this solemn occasion with a day of prayer and thanksgiving.

Recent Examples of deem from the Web

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.

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

deem Synonyms


DEEM Defined for English Language Learners

deem

verb

Definition of deem for English Language Learners

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


DEEM Defined for Kids

deem

verb \ ˈdēm \

Definition of deem for Students

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


Seen and Heard

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