seem·​ing | \ ˈsē-miŋ How to pronounce seeming (audio) \

Definition of seeming

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: external appearance as distinguished from true character : look



Definition of seeming (Entry 2 of 2)

: outwardly or superficially evident but not true or real the seeming immortality of our heroes

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Choose the Right Synonym for seeming


apparent, illusory, seeming, ostensible mean not actually being what appearance indicates. apparent suggests appearance to unaided senses that may or may not be borne out by more rigorous examination or greater knowledge. the apparent cause of the accident illusory implies a false impression based on deceptive resemblance or faulty observation, or influenced by emotions that prevent a clear view. an illusory sense of security seeming implies a character in the thing observed that gives it the appearance, sometimes through intent, of something else. the seeming simplicity of the story ostensible suggests a discrepancy between an openly declared or naturally implied aim or reason and the true one. the ostensible reason for their visit

Examples of seeming in a Sentence

Noun her altruism is all seeming—she cares only about herself Adjective Parents discussed the teacher's seeming lack of interest in the students. I was fooled by the seeming simplicity of the instructions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The current wave of protests has elicited promises of solidarity from companies in every industry—some more genuine-seeming than others, and some ridiculous. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "Reddit Is Finally Facing Its Legacy of Racism," 12 June 2020 The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president's own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity. Jonathan Lemire And Zeke Miller, The Christian Science Monitor, "With protesters outside White House, Trump sheltered in bunker," 1 June 2020 Their concerns are very immediate and small-seeming, which is either demented or really enlightened of them. Peter Hartlaub,, "This kid-staffed SF newspaper is the coronavirus break we needed. Here’s how it started," 28 Mar. 2020 But a seeming cease fire - at least temporarily - has let crude values fall back down below $60. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "U.S. oil production hits estimated record 13 million barrels per day," 15 Jan. 2020 Michael Cloud of Texas did so erroneously, correcting his mistake quickly when news of the seeming defection reverberated through the room. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The Tao of impeachment: The process is the point," 19 Dec. 2019 The seeming proliferation of yellow cardinals may not mean an increase in their population. Dennis Pillion |, al, "Another yellow cardinal spotted in Florida," 15 Oct. 2019 The Great Khan required absolute submission, but even repression has some seeming perks. Zeynep Tufekci, WIRED, "The Internet Has Made Dupes—and Cynics—of Us All," 24 June 2019 Take perhaps the most conventional-seeming, but subtly subversive, of these new works, Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton, which opened on Broadway this spring. Adam Green, Vogue, "Meet the Playwrights, Actors, and Directors Radically Reshaping Broadway," 13 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Reddit’s management has also launched products with little seeming foresight about the potential for abuse. Eric Newcomer, Fortune, "Racism is rampant on Reddit, and its editors are in open revolt," 20 June 2020 Still, in spite of its seeming lack of results relative to the IRA and GRU, Secondary Infektion has apparently received substantial funding over time to continue its operations. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "The Russian Disinfo Operation You Never Heard About," 16 June 2020 California senator Kamala Harris, the other seeming front-runner, would not. Michael Tomasky, The New York Review of Books, "Biden’s Journey Left," 4 June 2020 In 1995 astronomer Bob Williams had a zany idea: What if NASA pointed Hubble at a seeming dark spot in the sky? National Geographic, "After 30 years, Hubble is still revealing new mysteries of the universe," 23 Apr. 2020 Not the insiders, the habitués of the press box; Kaline has indeed been a difficult subject for them, combining reticence and taciturnity with a seeming indifference and, lately, even rudeness. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, "For Tigers legend Al Kaline, sweetness of batting title led to frustration. Here's why," 14 June 2020 Most important, though, was the flashing red warning message that had set them all on this seeming race against time. August Cole, Wired, "AI, AR, and the (Somewhat) Speculative Future of a Tech-Fueled FBI," 5 June 2020 People across the country have taken to the streets to vent their frustrations over the seeming lack of value for the lives of black men. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Health experts and state leaders fear coronavirus could spread rapidly during mass protests in US," 1 June 2020 One of the biggest sticking points for Democrats in the negotiations was a seeming lack of oversight for big businesses receiving loans from a $500 billion fund. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Senate appears close to a deal over massive coronavirus stimulus bill," 24 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seeming.' 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 seeming


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1557, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for seeming

Time Traveler

The first known use of seeming was in the 15th century

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Statistics for seeming

Last Updated

16 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seeming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for seeming



English Language Learners Definition of seeming

somewhat formal : appearing to be true but not being true or certain


seem·​ing | \ ˈsē-miŋ How to pronounce seeming (audio) \

Kids Definition of seeming

: apparent sense 3 Mom was suspicious of our seeming enthusiasm for work.

Other Words from seeming

seemingly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on seeming

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seeming

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seeming

Spanish Central: Translation of seeming

Nglish: Translation of seeming for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seeming for Arabic Speakers

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