\ ˈsēm How to pronounce seem (audio) \
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 The growing pains have been clear in these first few games — passes delivered to the wrong spot, players out of position defensively and mistakes that seem correctable with time and familiarity. Jamal Collier,, "Chicago Bulls Q&A: Is the Nikola Vucevic addition failing or just taking time to build chemistry? And who should be their top targets in free agency?," 3 Apr. 2021 Hyde, though, tried to put a stop to any projections that Ruiz might be an everyday solution at the position — a possibility that the Orioles seem to clearly be weighing. Jon Meoli,, "Breaking down Rio Ruiz’s Opening Day star-turn at second base for the Orioles and his chances at keeping the job," 3 Apr. 2021 But there is a third door, and Biden and the American Congress seem to be interested in opening it: delay., "The deadline is approaching for Biden to make a huge — and little-discussed — decision. And there is no easy answer," 2 Apr. 2021 The resulting research indicates that prehistoric sharks and their relatives bit down in ways that seem alien to scientists now. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Prehistoric Sharks Had Jaws Shaped Like Circular Saws and Sawtoothed Scissors," 2 Apr. 2021 Instead, the trail follows the island’s gentle contours around rocky outcroppings that seem to sprout up everywhere, often under a canopy of trees. Washington Post, "Hiking along Virginia’s Aquia Creek and finding history a stone’s throw from home," 2 Apr. 2021 Being a child is hellish, but the examples of the adults all around her seem even worse. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Sitting with the anxious comedy of ‘Shiva Baby’," 2 Apr. 2021 One of the unique elements of the trial is how many officers seem willing and eager to testify against Chauvin. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "The Derek Chauvin trial continues to day five," 2 Apr. 2021 Still, the prospects for basic income becoming a reality in the U.S. seem more likely to turn on the success of domestic experiments. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why cities are experimenting with giving people cash payments," 2 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for seem

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for seem

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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
used to make a statement less definite or more polite followed by to + verb often used in negative statements


\ ˈsēm How to pronounce seem (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on seem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seem

Nglish: Translation of seem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seem for Arabic Speakers

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