\ 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

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 Which might just be another way of saying that the century doesn’t seem so new, or so hopeful, anymore. Matt Brennandeputy Editor, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 But in the past, her attitude towards her victims has bordered on contempt, and her most ardent stans do not seem to harbor much sympathy for Delvey’s victims, either. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2022 The Buffalo News — like the region’s civic leadership — didn’t seem to have the best interests of the Black community as a top priority as decisions were being made about the expressway, the football stadium and the university. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 But the offensive does now seem to be bearing fruit, with Russian troops advancing behind intense bombardment. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 20 May 2022 Things could improve in the short term as Shanghai—a major port and business center—plans to gradually reopen, but China’s zero-tolerance approach toward Covid-19 doesn’t seem to be going away. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 20 May 2022 But Cannes doesn’t seem to want to hear the criticism. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 20 May 2022 Looking back at the episode, there didn’t seem to be any telltale signs that Jack was heading out the door. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 20 May 2022 In addition, the numerous attacks don’t seem to be coordinated with each other. Neil J. Rubenking, PCMAG, 19 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Seem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for seem


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on seem

Nglish: Translation of seem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seem for Arabic Speakers


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