\ 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 teemingly (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 Today, the center of Stockholm is a bustling hub teeming with homes, businesses, parks and people—but no substantial bodies of water. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "16th-Century Shipwreck Discovered Beneath Stockholm City Center," 25 Dec. 2019 All the while, Assad’s prisons teemed with tortured Syrian activists and bystanders caught up in the chaos. Washington Post, "Denmark denied refugees asylum by arguing it’s safe for them to go home to Syria," 18 Dec. 2019 The stabbing happened in an area teeming with shoppers. Mike Corder, Anchorage Daily News, "Assailant wounds 3 in stabbing at busy Hague shopping area," 30 Nov. 2019 The stabbing happened in an area teeming with shoppers. Arkansas Online, "U.K. fatal stabbings described as terrorism," 30 Nov. 2019 La Romana is the gateway to Catalina, Catalinita, and Saona Islands, which are home to nesting turtles, thriving coral reef, and shipwrecks teeming with marine life, which beginner and advanced divers can see by snorkel. Nicola Fumo, Town & Country, "Why the Dominican Republic Is the Best Place to Relax and Unwind," 23 Nov. 2019 But they were met by riot police firing tear gas, turning the busy streets teeming with apartment blocks into a battle zone. Ken Moritsugu, chicagotribune.com, "Hong Kong police tighten siege on protesters at university campus," 18 Nov. 2019 More Open Future articles are at Economist.com/openfuture. * * * Get our daily newsletter Our grandparents attended party conventions teeming with balloons and bunting. The Economist, "Party politics is dying, so make citizen movements the new unifier," 1 Nov. 2019 His goal is to offer affordable options for a neighborhood not teeming with choices. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Edwins bakery-diner coming soon to Buckeye neighborhood," 23 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today, the center of Stockholm is a bustling hub teeming with homes, businesses, parks and people—but no substantial bodies of water. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "16th-Century Shipwreck Discovered Beneath Stockholm City Center," 25 Dec. 2019 The stabbing happened in an area teeming with shoppers. Mike Corder, Anchorage Daily News, "Assailant wounds 3 in stabbing at busy Hague shopping area," 30 Nov. 2019 The stabbing happened in an area teeming with shoppers. Arkansas Online, "U.K. fatal stabbings described as terrorism," 30 Nov. 2019 Both Cohen’s and Snowden’s gregariousness can shade into garrulousness; their writing and speech teem with grandiosity and introspection, a combination that appeals to their admirers and grates on their critics. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "Edward Snowden’s Novel Makeover," 17 Sep. 2019 Just as the Galapagos teems with unique finches and tortoises, so do the world’s Twilight Zones function as islands of the deep, churning out endemic species by virtue of their solitude. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian, "Illuminating the Ocean’s Teeming Twilight Zone, Before It Disappears," 14 Apr. 2018 Under the Trump administration’s new, more restrictive policies, thousands are being sent back to Mexico, where many wait in teeming, unhealthy border camps. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Why Border Patrol Refuses to Offer Flu Shots to Migrants," 11 Dec. 2019 Erupting from the stripes are jets of water that appear to be teeming with organic molecules and hydrogen, ingredients that hint at the potential for life on Enceladus. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Swelling, Freezing Seas May Have Given Enceladus Its Tiger Stripes," 10 Dec. 2019 Its redeveloped Quayside – once home to heavy industry – now teems with joggers and cyclists. The Economist, "Walking the wall: my Brexit hike in northern England," 4 Dec. 2019

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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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

29 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Teem.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teeming. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on teem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for teem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with teem

Spanish Central: Translation of teem

Nglish: Translation of teem for Spanish Speakers

Comments on teem

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