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seemly

[seem-lee]
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adjective, seem·li·er, seem·li·est.
  1. fitting or becoming with respect to propriety or good taste; decent; decorous: Your outburst of rage was hardly seemly.
  2. suitable or appropriate; fitting: a seemly gesture.
  3. of pleasing appearance; handsome.
adverb
  1. in a seemly manner; fittingly; becomingly.

Origin of seemly

1175–1225; Middle English semely < Old Norse sæmiligr honorable; derivative of sœmr (see seem)
Related formsseem·li·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1, 2. right, proper, appropriate, meet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for seemliness

Historical Examples

  • Seemliness is conduct which befits one's character and standards.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • Seemliness is a light, remote, and less important form of propriety.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • But he is a great lord, and in seemliness he asks for a lie, and that which he asks is given to him—in seemliness.

    Judith

    Arnold Bennett

  • Mezura, seemliness, is contrasted with dezmezura, licentiousness.

  • All man's seemliness and affection for the natural things of earth were absent.

    Henry Brocken

    Walter J. de la Mare


British Dictionary definitions for seemliness

seemly

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. proper or fitting
  2. obsolete pleasing or handsome in appearance
adverb
  1. archaic properly or decorously
Derived Formsseemliness, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse sœomiligr, from sœmr befitting
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

Word Origin and History for seemliness

seemly

adj.

"of pleasing or good appearance," also "proper, tasteful, decorous," early 13c., semlich, from Old Norse soemiligr "becoming, honorable," from soemr (see seem). Related: Seemliness. Cf. Old Norse soemleitr "fine to look at."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper