deem

verb
\ 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

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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

Should any dispute arise concerning the identity of an entrant; the owner of the e-mail account from which entry was sent shall be deemed the entrant. Denisa Protani, baltimoresun.com, "Win two tickets to UNCLE DREW," 10 July 2018 The rules also confirm the accounts have the right to delete comments or block users that don't follow the guidelines, or send comments to authorities if deemed appropriate. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Royal Family Combats Online Trolls with Official Social Media Guidelines," 4 Mar. 2019 The system can trigger the brakes automatically if a collision is deemed imminent and if the driver doesn’t appear set to respond in time. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "40 countries agree cars must have automatic braking," 13 Feb. 2019 In other words, Trump has allowed Mattis and the Department of Homeland Security to use violence, if deemed necessary. Tara Golshan, Vox, "What Trump’s “lethal force” authorization means at the border," 27 Nov. 2018 Google has a tool to let site operators check if their sites are deemed abusive, and the company will give them 30 days to remedy any problematic ads. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Chrome 71 will block any and all ads on sites with “abusive experiences”," 5 Nov. 2018 Folin could be a stop-gap until Phil Myers is deemed NHL-ready. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Flyers sign Christian Folin, a righthanded defenseman," 5 July 2018 The race was an uphill battle from the start—North Carolina’s districts have already been deemed too gerrymandered by the courts. Jenny Kaplan, Glamour, "I Watched My Mom Lose on Election Day. Here's What We Won.," 7 Nov. 2018 Some of the world’s most destructive earthquakes — China in 2008, Haiti in 2010 and Japan in 2011, among them — occurred in areas that seismic hazard maps had deemed relatively safe. Cade Metz, The Seattle Times, "The next Big One? Earthquake scientists look to AI.," 26 Oct. 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

22 Mar 2019

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

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

deem

verb
\ ˈdēm How to pronounce deem (audio) \
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

Comments on deem

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