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[teem] /tim/
verb (used without object)
to abound or swarm; be prolific or fertile (usually followed by with).
Obsolete. to be or become pregnant; bring forth young.
verb (used with object)
Obsolete. to produce (offspring).
Origin of teem1
before 900; Middle English temen, Old English tēman, tīeman to produce (offspring), derivative of tēam team
Related forms
teemer, noun
1. overflow, brim, overrun, bristle.


[teem] /tim/
verb (used with or without object)
to empty or pour out; discharge.
1250-1300; Middle English temen < Old Norse tæma to empty, derivative of tōmr empty, cognate with Old English tōm free from Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for teemed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The year 1783 was one of Watt's most fruitful years of the dozen which may be said to have teemed with his inventions.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
  • I love thy victorious throne, which teemed with harmonious strains.

    Y Gododin Aneurin
  • The halls of Congress should have rung with the arguments, the newspaper press should have teemed with them.

    A Defence of Virginia Robert L. Dabney
  • The place just teemed with the sporadic life of an Antarctic summer.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • How, for example, in a world that teemed with sin, could the governor be so keen on catching trout?

  • Now he gazed about streets through which teemed the new activity.

  • The older he grew the more he teemed and seethed and bubbled and shone—and set others shining round him—even myself.

    The Martian George Du Maurier
  • Cab after cab rolled up over the flagstones and teemed out people and properties.

    The Recipe for Diamonds Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne
  • I was their constant guest and although it was a simple life it teemed with beauty and interest.

    As I Remember Marian Gouverneur
British Dictionary definitions for teemed


(intransitive) usually foll by with. to be prolific or abundant (in); abound (in)
(obsolete) to bring forth (young)
Word Origin
Old English tēman to produce offspring; related to West Saxon tīeman; see team


(intransitive; often foll by down or with rain) to pour in torrents: it's teeming down
(transitive) to pour or empty out
Derived Forms
teemer, noun
Word Origin
C15 temen to empty, from Old Norse tœma; related to Old English tōm, Old High German zuomīg empty
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 teemed



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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