\ ˈtēm How to pronounce teem (audio) \
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
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 How to pronounce teem (audio) \ 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 Careerist designers teem in the West, with such fecund exceptions as László Moholy-Nagy and Kurt Schwitters. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "What Are Artists For?," 21 Dec. 2020 Roasted beets teem with sliced orange, radishes, pumpkin seeds and blue cheese ($4.95). Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Three new San Antonio restaurants — Camp Outpost Co., Cuishe Cocina Mexicana and Kumo bringing special food, like insects, to S.A.," 12 Nov. 2020 The rivers of the Pacific Northwest used to teem with two waves of Chinook: those that arrived in March or April, and those that came 6 months later, swimming from the sea to their upriver breeding grounds. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Salmon study sheds light on why fall-run fish are bigger than their spring-run cousins," 29 Oct. 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Careerist designers teem in the West, with such fecund exceptions as László Moholy-Nagy and Kurt Schwitters. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "What Are Artists For?," 21 Dec. 2020 Roasted beets teem with sliced orange, radishes, pumpkin seeds and blue cheese ($4.95). Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Three new San Antonio restaurants — Camp Outpost Co., Cuishe Cocina Mexicana and Kumo bringing special food, like insects, to S.A.," 12 Nov. 2020 The rivers of the Pacific Northwest used to teem with two waves of Chinook: those that arrived in March or April, and those that came 6 months later, swimming from the sea to their upriver breeding grounds. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Salmon study sheds light on why fall-run fish are bigger than their spring-run cousins," 29 Oct. 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 The streets seemed to teem with menacing strangers. Anchorage Daily News, "Her attacker was stopped in the act and arrested, but this assault was only the beginning of her trauma," 18 June 2020 Watch for dolphins from the side of the boat: the waters here teem with them. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Weekend Getaway Ideas in the U.S.," 18 June 2020

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

Time Traveler for teem

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for teem

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Teem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teem. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for teem

teem

verb
\ ˈtēm How to pronounce teem (audio) \
teemed; teeming

Kids Definition of teem

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

More from Merriam-Webster on teem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for teem

Nglish: Translation of teem for Spanish Speakers

Comments on teem

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