\ 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 But today, one aspect of Minority Report seems to be on track to arrive much earlier than 2054. Wired, "Do Our Faces Deserve the Same Protection as Our Phones?," 10 Sep. 2019 The Court not only broke with nearly four decades of legal precedent but also seemed to contradict its own position from less than a year ago. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "An Immigration Attorney at the A.C.L.U. on Fighting Trump’s Asylum Ban," 17 Sep. 2019 In the past four Atlantic hurricane seasons, five Category 5 hurricanes have formed; the vulnerability of these islands has never seemed more stark. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian, "The Bahamas and the Caribbean Have Withstood Hurricanes for Centuries," 17 Sep. 2019 The strategy also has confounded many industry observers for seeming to take hold with a movie that appears most suited for a theatrical release., "Amazon Studios, once the anti-Netflix, appears to be turning into it," 16 Sep. 2019 The outcome looks like a rejection of the status quo, although the outsiders seem to have won barely one-third of the vote. The Economist, "Tunisia’s presidential race becomes a contest of outsiders," 16 Sep. 2019 Translators, some medical professionals and truck owner-operators seem uniform in their desire to remain freelancers. Carolyn Said,, "AB5 gig work bill: All your questions answered," 16 Sep. 2019 The driver would periodically wake up, but seemed oblivious to officers’ attempts to make contact, moving around inside the vehicle but not responding to any commands over the course of three hours, police said. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "Mill Valley: Authorities arrest man found unresponsive in car," 15 Sep. 2019 Ross joined Connelly for the final two trips up the mountain and said the Chugiak High senior seemed amazingly fresh even as the 7 p.m. finish time drew near. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Connelly crushes Climbathon," 15 Sep. 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

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for seem

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

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More Definitions for seem


How to pronounce seem (audio)

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 politeI 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seem

Spanish Central: Translation of seem

Nglish: Translation of seem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seem for Arabic Speakers

Comments on seem

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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