\ 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 The factors driving the shortages are complex, but all seem to swirl around the tourist explosion in the redrock city. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 July 2021 Since drinks seem to bring out the clumsiness in all of us, save yourself from having to do any future clean-ups and consider a martini glass without a stem. Isiah Magsino, Vogue, 17 July 2021 Our results reliably show that genes seem to influence all of these outcomes. Philipp Koellinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 July 2021 The show isn’t particularly interested in validating the man-child archetype, and the writers seem to actually like the women who populate the show’s universe. Nina Metz,, 21 July 2021 More important, the fruit’s anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, which seem considerable, are things that many of us actively want. New York Times, 20 July 2021 These new tips are made of polyurethane, and seem a bit like a cross between foam and silicone. Christian De Looper, BGR, 20 July 2021 The Houston Texans, who seem to be in rebuild mode, too, since their quarterback, Deshaun Watson, reportedly asked for a trade. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 20 July 2021 We’ve all been warned about the dangers of hitchhiking, but college campus ride boards — with notes from those seeking transportation and those who want someone to share the cost — seem so innocuous. Oline H. Cogdill,, 20 July 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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Statistics for seem

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 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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