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seemly

[seem-lee] /ˈsim li/
adjective, seemlier, seemliest.
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
4.
in a seemly manner; fittingly; becomingly.
Origin of seemly
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English semely < Old Norse sæmiligr honorable; derivative of sœmr (see seem)
Related forms
seemliness, noun
Synonyms
1, 2. right, proper, appropriate, meet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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
  • Even unlucky devils, such as myself, are not without a certain respect for that which is fitting, for seemliness and etiquette.

  • At Nantes in Bretaigne dwelt a lady who was rich in beauty and wisdom and all seemliness.

  • “The palmyra palm has no shadow: the Paraiyan has no regard for seemliness” is a common Tamil proverb.

  • Unequal to the exercise of virtue itself, he thought he had done enough in preserving some of its seemliness.

  • There was nothing in his appearance which grated particularly upon Mr. Weatherley's sense of seemliness.

    The Lighted Way

    E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for seemliness

seemly

/ˈsiːmlɪ/
adjective -lier, -liest
1.
proper or fitting
2.
(obsolete) pleasing or handsome in appearance
adverb
3.
(archaic) properly or decorously
Derived Forms
seemliness, 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
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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
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