\ 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

PhoneView is commonly recommended for Mac, and CopyTrans seems to be the application of choice among Windows users. Wired Staff, WIRED, "How To Save Text Messages on Your iPhone," 11 June 2019 Pioneer missed a few good scoring chances early, and Gregory seemed to grow in confidence as the game went on before Miranda Dunn finished it. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what I learned from the Indiana softball state finals," 10 June 2019 The video also doesn’t show Ortiz speaking with the assailant or even seeming to know that a man was standing behind him with a gun. Michael Mccann,, "David Ortiz Shooting Doesn't Look Like an Attempted Robbery," 10 June 2019 But idealism only goes so far when money is at stake, and Lyft seems less committed to taking cars off the road than profiting from that shift. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "Lyft doesn’t seem to care that much about ending car ownership," 10 June 2019 But grading a draft on the fly seems as silly as declaring a sculpture a masterpiece after the first 10 minutes of chiseling. Henry Schulman,, "How the Giants’ first draft under Farhan Zaidi, Michael Holmes played out," 10 June 2019 And he's rarely seemed more comfortable in his own skin, more charismatic as a live performer. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Martin Scorsese captures the mystery and magic of Bob Dylan in 'Rolling Thunder Revue'," 10 June 2019 Although the descriptions of such sounds might seem to be auditory hallucinations, the texts do regard them as real, not fictional. Kim Haines-eitzen, The Conversation, "The struggle to find silence in the ancient monastic world – and now," 10 June 2019 But elsewhere in Europe, social-democratic parties have problems which an anti-immigrant turn seems unlikely to solve. The Economist, "Denmark’s social democrats beat the migrant-bashers at their game," 9 June 2019

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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Statistics for seem

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seem

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seem

Spanish Central: Translation of seem

Nglish: Translation of seem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seem for Arabic Speakers

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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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