- to abound or swarm; be prolific or fertile (usually followed by with).
- Obsolete. to be or become pregnant; bring forth young.
- Obsolete. to produce (offspring).
Origin of teem1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to empty or pour out; discharge.
Origin of teem2
Examples from the Web for teem
If the past eight months were full of international thrills, the next ones are more likely to teem with spills.Obama's Next Six Crises
Leslie H. Gelb
September 11, 2009
In like manner, his physiognomical expression seemed to teem with benignity.Little Dorrit
"Liza, teem a short pint intil this lang Robbie," said Matthew.
Sista, there's some betterment in the weather, now; it teem't awhile ago.
They teem with the worst kind of libels against the Society.The Jesuits, 1534-1921
Thomas J. Campbell
The neighbourhood of Trirodov's estate began to teem with detectives.The Created Legend
- (intr usually foll by with) to be prolific or abundant (in); abound (in)
- obsolete to bring forth (young)
- (intr; often foll by down or with rain) to pour in torrentsit's teeming down
- (tr) to pour or empty out
Word Origin and History for teem
"abound, swarm," Old English teman (Mercian), tieman (West Saxon) "give birth to, produce," from Proto-Germanic *taumijanan, from PIE *deuk- "to lead" (see duke (n.)). Related to team in its now-obsolete Old English sense of "family, brood of young animals." The meaning "be fertile, abound, swarm" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Teemed; teeming.
"to flow copiously," c.1300, from Old Norse toema "to empty," from tomr "empty," cognate with Old English tom "empty." The original notion is of "to empty a vessel," thus "to pour out." Related: Teemed; teeming.