\ ˈsēm \
seemed; seeming; seems

Definition of seem 

intransitive verb

1 : to appear to the observation or understanding

2 : to give the impression of being

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Examples of seem in a Sentence

What they're doing doesn't seem right to me. I tried to cheer them up because they seemed depressed.

Recent Examples on the Web

Maddon seemed to be leaning toward a preference for a Javier Baez-style player. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs manager Joe Maddon emphasizes 'good old-fashioned baseball' in meeting," 15 July 2018 Shannon Coulter, who started #GrabYourWallet, seemed to feel encouraged by Hudson’s Bay’s choice., "Ivanka Trump’s Clothing Line Pulled From Yet Another Department Store," 14 July 2018 On the front, however, where sequins were not placed, the distressed bottoms seemed ripped so heavily that her entire thigh was visible through the threads. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Bella Thorne Wears Fuzzy Slippers and Socks in Los Angeles," 13 July 2018 Coming Apart seemed to me to have more of a rock edge, while The Switch is subtler. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Kim Gordon & Bill Nace on Body/Head's Second Album and the 'Freedom' of a Niche Audience," 13 July 2018 That power seems to have redoubled his insistence upon shaking up long-standing alliances across the Atlantic. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump is threatening the Western alliance. And Republicans have no will to stop him.," 13 July 2018 Bonilla, who was elected to the commission from a background of fighting out-of-control growth, seems quite capable of leading the charge. Lauren Ritchie,, "Orange County spares 'very special place' Tangerine from bad growth," 13 July 2018 And now, like Chicago, the Knicks seem to have stumbled into something resembling a solution. Andrew Sharp,, "Kevin Knox, Wendell Carter Jr., and Midsummer Hope for the Knicks and Bulls," 13 July 2018 And Kenya’s leaders — themselves long accused of corruption — seem finally to have recognized the potential political cost of not addressing it. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "Kenyans have had it with corruption. Their leaders may finally be doing something about it.," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seem.' 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 seem

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for seem

Middle English semen to appear to be, be fitting, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse sœma to honor, sœmr fitting, samr same — more at same

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Phrases Related to seem

it seems like only yesterday

so it seems

Statistics for seem

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seem

The first known use of seem was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for seem



English Language Learners Definition of seem

: to appear to be something or to do something : to have a quality, appearance, etc., that shows or suggests a particular characteristic, feeling, etc.

—used with it to make a statement about what appears to be true based on what is known


\ ˈsēm \
seemed; seeming

Kids Definition of seem

1 : to give the impression of being : appear They certainly seemed pleased.

2 used to make a statement less forceful or more polite I can't seem to recall where we met.

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Comments on seem

What made you want to look up seem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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