teem

verb (1)
\ 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

teem

verb (2)
teemed; teeming; teems

Definition of teem (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: empty, pour teem molten metal into a mold

Keep scrolling for more

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

The teeming life associated with sargassum must constantly adjust to the coming together and breaking apart of the nurturing islands. David Doubilet, National Geographic, "Life in the North Atlantic depends on this floating seaweed," 12 June 2019 The fact that someone might want the building at the teeming intersection of Western and Fullerton avenues, but not the bar, was always a possibility. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "After 39 years, Quenchers Saloon readies to close its doors," 17 May 2018 Yet beneath the teeming anxiety, there was a quiet sense of relief as well. Serena Daniari, Allure, "The Complicated Process of Undergoing Facial-Feminization Surgery, and Why I Did It," 23 Mar. 2019 Captain Robert Pearson, who had previously been a glider pilot, managed to maneuver the plane to a defunct Canadian Air Force base at Gimli, Manitoba, which at the time was teeming with go-carts and festive crowds due to a family event. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 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 Bennett’s streets teem with unaffiliated scrivers, thieves, and swords-for-hire, and the novel’s final act — a heist and confrontation — sees Sancia breaking into the fantasy equivalent of a smart fortress. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Foundryside is a cyberpunk adventure wrapped in an epic fantasy novel," 23 Dec. 2018 Your every act of goodwill, then, is potentially teeming with wrath. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "The Messiness of Vampyr Doesn't Weaken Its Bite," 7 June 2018 TPC River Highlands will be teeming with major champions this summer. Staff Report, courant.com, "World No. 7 Jason Day Joins Loaded Travelers Championship Field," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kayak in waterways that teem with friendly beluga whales, which migrate here in the thousands during the summer months to feed and give birth to their young. National Geographic, "Canadian Arctic High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 Captain Robert Pearson, who had previously been a glider pilot, managed to maneuver the plane to a defunct Canadian Air Force base at Gimli, Manitoba, which at the time was teeming with go-carts and festive crowds due to a family event. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 Yet beneath the teeming anxiety, there was a quiet sense of relief as well. Serena Daniari, Allure, "The Complicated Process of Undergoing Facial-Feminization Surgery, and Why I Did It," 23 Mar. 2019 The jungles are thick with vegetation and teeming with Maoist insurgents called Naxalites who attack government officials with bullets, incendiary devices and land mines. Amrit Dhillon, The Seattle Times, "Poll workers journey to reach India’s most remote voters," 14 Apr. 2019 The Dragon Prince offers viewers a rich and suggestive world that’s teeming with possibilities about what might be happening beyond the frame. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The Dragon Prince is influenced by Avatar: The Last Airbender in the best ways," 7 Sep. 2018 Given the length of the journey, the flight was teeming with passengers and crew, so Captain Min-Yuan Ho needed to act fast. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 Bennett’s streets teem with unaffiliated scrivers, thieves, and swords-for-hire, and the novel’s final act — a heist and confrontation — sees Sancia breaking into the fantasy equivalent of a smart fortress. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Foundryside is a cyberpunk adventure wrapped in an epic fantasy novel," 23 Dec. 2018 When Hudson Yards formally opens on March 15, the development will reshape the landscape in Manhattan’s far west side, essentially introducing a new neighborhood teeming with office workers, residents and retail establishments. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Hudson Yards Developers See An Appetite For Their New Culinary Corridor," 25 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about teem

Listen to Our Podcast about teem

Dictionary Entries near teem

tee iron

tee joint

teel

teem

teem down

teemer

teemful

Statistics for teem

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for teem

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up teem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!