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[see-ming] /ˈsi mɪŋ/
apparent; appearing, whether truly or falsely, to be as specified:
a seeming advantage.
appearance, especially outward or deceptive appearance.
Origin of seeming
1300-50; Middle English semynge; see seem, -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
seemingly, adverb
seemingness, noun
1. ostensible, external, superficial. 2. semblance, face, pretense.


[seem] /sim/
verb (used without object)
to appear to be, feel, do, etc.:
She seems better this morning.
to appear to one's own senses, mind, observation, judgment, etc.:
It seems to me that someone is calling.
to appear to exist:
There seems no need to go now.
to appear to be true, probable, or evident:
It seems likely to rain.
to give the outward appearance of being or to pretend to be:
He only seems friendly because he wants you to like him.
1150-1200; Middle English seme < Old Norse sœma to befit, beseem, derivative of sœmr fitting, seemly; akin to sōmi honor
4. Seem, appear, look refer to an outward aspect that may or may not be contrary to reality. Seem is applied to something that has an aspect of truth and probability: It seems warmer today. Appear suggests the giving of an impression that may be superficial or illusory: The house appears to be deserted. Look more vividly suggests the use of the eye (literally or figuratively) or the aspect as perceived by the eye: She looked very much frightened. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for seeming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The old man read it and for a time mused himself into seeming oblivion.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Miss Milbrey nodded encouragement, seeming to chuckle inwardly.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Don't let me be surprised at your seeming unsisterliness, Bella.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Then there is a seeming silence, but it is the silence of a deeper sound.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • She started suddenly awake, seeming to have been roused by the opening of a door.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for seeming


(prenominal) apparent but not actual or genuine: seeming honesty
outward or false appearance
Derived Forms
seemingness, noun


verb (may take an infinitive)
(copula) to appear to the mind or eye; look: this seems nice, the car seems to be running well
to give the impression of existing; appear to be: there seems no need for all this nonsense
used to diminish the force of a following infinitive to be polite, more noncommittal, etc: I can't seem to get through to you
Derived Forms
seemer, noun
Word Origin
C12: perhaps from Old Norse soma to beseem, from sœmr befitting; related to Old English sēman to reconcile; see same
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for seeming

late 14c., present participle adjective from seem. Seemingly in sense of "to all appearances" recorded from 1590s.



c.1200, "to appear to be;" c.1300, "to be fitting, be appropriate, be suitable," though the more recent sense in English is the etymological one; from Old Norse soema "to honor; to put up with; to conform to (the world, etc.)," verb derived from adjective soemr "fitting," from Proto-Germanic *somi- (cf. Old English som "agreement, reconciliation," seman "to conciliate," source of Middle English semen "to settle a dispute," literally "to make one;" Old Danish some "to be proper or seemly"), from PIE *som-i-, from root *sem- "one, as one" (see same). Related: Seemed; seeming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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