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

Flash-forward 130 years after abolition, and land in a near-north Chicago neighborhood is deemed more profitable if most of its African-American descendants of slaves are displaced. Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, "History repeats itself over and over again at the African Diaspora Film Festival," 8 June 2018 Incidentally, the Diamondbacks wound up signing Drew nearly a year later to a contract that was deemed acceptable by Major League Baseball’s Labor Relations Department. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Bryan Colangelo's resignation brings back memories of Jerry Colangelo's ousting in Arizona," 7 June 2018 Of the group, 143 of them were tasked with following CR, eating 25 percent fewer calories than usual — a decrease deemed feasible based on animal studies. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 The company pulled off its second test flight in January, deeming the Electron rocket ready for commercial missions. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Small satellite launcher Rocket Lab is poised to send up its first batch of spacecraft for NASA," 12 Dec. 2018 So New Orleans and the vast river delta were left out of the model, deemed irrelevant to the question at hand. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Owen knew her baby wasn’t due until Christmas, seven weeks later: She’d even visited her doctor for a check-up before the flight, and had a letter deeming her safe to travel. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 Now, Lee has put out another apology video, this time apologizing for her first one, which fans ultimately deemed insensitive. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Laura Lee Is Attempting to Apologize Again for Her Controversial Tweets," 27 Sep. 2018 One misconception Dianne Grossman says too many adults have: that only certain types of children are targets — i.e., ones who are outwardly different than what society deems normal. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 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

17 May 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

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highly pertinent or appropriate

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