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present participle of seem

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective seeming contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of seeming are apparent, illusory, and ostensible. While all these words mean "not actually being what appearance indicates," seeming implies a character in the thing observed that gives it the appearance, sometimes through intent, of something else.

the seeming simplicity of the story

In what contexts can apparent take the place of seeming?

The synonyms apparent and seeming are sometimes interchangeable, but apparent suggests appearance to unaided senses that may or may not be borne out by more rigorous examination or greater knowledge.

the apparent cause of the accident

When is it sensible to use illusory instead of seeming?

The words illusory and seeming can be used in similar contexts, but illusory implies a false impression based on deceptive resemblance or faulty observation, or influenced by emotions that prevent a clear view.

an illusory sense of security

When could ostensible be used to replace seeming?

The words ostensible and seeming are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ostensible suggests a discrepancy between an openly declared or naturally implied aim or reason and the true one.

the ostensible reason for their visit

Thesaurus Entries Near seeming

Cite this Entry

“Seeming.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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