\ 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 Rattler mistakes and a potentially shaky defense seem like legitimate obstacles to Oklahoma’s quest for a national title. Christopher Smith, al, 6 Sep. 2021 Adherents of the living building approach seem to agree that the most difficult aspect is vetting building materials. The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Sep. 2021 There doesn’t seem to be a lot that can reverse the course, either. Nikki Baird, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 There doesn’t seem to be a linear correlation between the number of antibodies and level of protection. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 30 Aug. 2021 The Ravens supposedly upgraded in pass protection by adding right guard Kevin Zeitler and right tackle Alejandro Villanueva during the offseason, but so far there doesn’t seem to be much progress. Mike Preston,, 29 Aug. 2021 There seem to be two philosophies right now about rototilling. oregonlive, 28 Aug. 2021 There doesn't seem to be any way that Toby can have a conversation with Jack directly, but This Is Us has surprised us before. Dan Snierson,, 24 Aug. 2021 For users experiencing the issue, there doesn’t seem to be a universal fix just yet. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 23 Aug. 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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Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 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.

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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