teem

verb (1)
\ ˈtēm \
teemed; teeming; teems

Definition of teem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to become filled to overflowing : abound
b : to be present in large quantity
2 obsolete : to become pregnant : conceive

transitive verb

archaic : bring forth : give birth to : produce

teem

verb (2)
teemed; teeming; teems

Definition of teem (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: empty, pour teem molten metal into a mold

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Other Words from teem

Verb (1)

teemingly \ ˈtē-​miŋ-​lē \ adverb
teemingness noun

What is the difference between the verbs teem and team?

Verb (1)

If you want to describe an overflowing abundance of something, the word you are looking for is teem. We often see reference to "the teeming masses," "streets teeming with activity," or "forests teeming with life." You want the word team if you are trying to describe pairing two or more things in a coordinated ensemble ("she teamed the oxen together"), or forming some kind of partnership or association ("we are teaming with another organization this year").

Examples of teem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

School halls, mosques and community spaces teemed with people, the narrow access roads clogged with vehicles and thick layers of mud. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Expected to Rise as Crews Reach Villages," 25 Dec. 2018 As climate change reduces Earth's biodiversity, a vast ecosystem of microbes is thriving beneath the planet's surface, teeming with hundreds of millions of microscopic lifeforms. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Vast Ecosystem of Underground Organisms Holds More Life Than Earth's Oceans," 11 Dec. 2018 By next fall, the developers say, the area is expected to be teeming with 20 cranes and 2,800 construction workers. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Former Hedge-Fund Titan and Bill Gates Are Betting Billions on Tampa," 4 Dec. 2018 Foragers opted for forests and mountains full of game, or rivers and coasts teeming with fish. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Aircraft operate in wide-open spaces, as opposed to narrow roads teeming with pedestrians and other vehicles. Cade Metz, The Seattle Times, "Silicon Valley takes a (careful) step toward autonomous flying," 28 Aug. 2018 Yet, the rafters at the team’s Canadian Tire Centre home arena are teeming with Stanley Cup banners — all commemorating the long-ago-disbanded Senators franchise that never even played there. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Reviving ‘Metropolitans’ name for NHL could work, but might want to skip that 1917 Stanley Cup banner," 15 Oct. 2018 However, Sky Harbor Airport isn’t exactly teeming with golf-club-carrying visitors to fill up those hotels at this time of year. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "8 reasons to love the Phoenix heat in summer," 14 July 2018 The lake, ponds and wetlands are teeming with fish, reptiles, birds and even alligators. Dale Blasingame, San Antonio Express-News, "The 8 best family-friendly Texas state parks," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The story of an African mercenary hired to track down a missing boy across an ancient landscape, the novel teems with nightmares: devils, witches, giants, shapeshifters, haunted woods, magic portals. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019: 19 Picks You Should Have on Your Reading List," 1 Jan. 2019 School halls, mosques and community spaces teemed with people, the narrow access roads clogged with vehicles and thick layers of mud. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Expected to Rise as Crews Reach Villages," 25 Dec. 2018 This is a series full of foreboding, suspense, and bloody battle sequences, all set against a slate gray landscape of misty downs, teeming with predators and studded with barbed wire. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Netflix’s Watership Down Is Not (Really) for Kids—And That’s a Good Thing," 22 Dec. 2018 Foragers opted for forests and mountains full of game, or rivers and coasts teeming with fish. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Aircraft operate in wide-open spaces, as opposed to narrow roads teeming with pedestrians and other vehicles. Cade Metz, The Seattle Times, "Silicon Valley takes a (careful) step toward autonomous flying," 28 Aug. 2018 At 10 in the morning, the teeming fluorescent atmosphere brought to mind an OTB, minus the gentility. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Hong Kong Foodie," 1 Nov. 2012 Yet, the rafters at the team’s Canadian Tire Centre home arena are teeming with Stanley Cup banners — all commemorating the long-ago-disbanded Senators franchise that never even played there. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Reviving ‘Metropolitans’ name for NHL could work, but might want to skip that 1917 Stanley Cup banner," 15 Oct. 2018 Poetically desolate in the winter months, come summer the house is teeming with characters. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Farm-Fresh Flowers and Lobster Rolls Aplenty: Marlo Laz’s Jeweler Gives Her Guide to Nantucket," 7 Sep. 2018

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

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for teem

Verb (1)

Middle English temen, from Old English tīman, tǣman; akin to Old English tēam offspring — more at team entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English temen, from Old Norse tœma; akin to Old English tōm empty

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Learn More about teem

Dictionary Entries near teem

tee iron

tee joint

teel

teem

teem down

teemer

teemful

Statistics for teem

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for teem

The first known use of teem was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for teem

teem

verb
\ ˈtēm \
teemed; teeming

Kids Definition of teem

: to be full of something The streams teemed with fish.

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More from Merriam-Webster on teem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with teem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for teem

Spanish Central: Translation of teem

Nglish: Translation of teem for Spanish Speakers

Comments on teem

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