- 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 teemed
North and South America, though at that time uninhabited by people, teemed with huge, unfamiliar, and fierce beasts.American Wilderness Faces the Firing Squad
July 6, 2014
I love thy victorious throne, which teemed with harmonious strains.Y Gododin
The foundries and dockyards of Algiers teemed with busy workmen.The Story of the Barbary Corsairs
Indeed, Juda teemed with monuments erected in honor of the Csars.History of the Jews, Vol. II (of 6)
Thebes stood erect, and Memphis teemed upon the river banks.Incredible Adventures
Before the horde there was a busy world which teemed with life.The Forgotten Planet
- (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 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.