- abounding or swarming with something, as with people: We elbowed our way through the teeming station.
- prolific or fertile.
Origin of teeming1
- falling in torrents: a teeming rain.
Origin of teeming2
- 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 teeming
So for the 12 years he spent at Aldgate, Chaucer was mostly alone, with a teeming urban scene literally beneath his feet.A Year In The Life of The Canterbury Tales’ Storied Beginnings
December 25, 2014
Ebola causes the body to excrete fluids that are teeming with the virus.New York Nurses Are the Calm in Ebola’s Storm
October 21, 2014
Remember those quaint ethnic communities, once teeming with stickball games and eggplant-shaped old women wielding rolling pins?Weren’t Those the Bad Old Days? The Poison of New York City Nostalgia
January 6, 2014
A new study claims breast milk ordered online is teeming with bacteria.Buy That Breast Milk!
October 22, 2013
I hated the concrete, cursed the teeming masses who looked just like me.I Can’t Shake Hawaii: An Ode to Returning to Places You’ve Been Before
Debra A. Klein
October 7, 2013
For me she was only an incident in this teeming radiant life.
They are all gone now, but then they were humming and teeming with work.
She was aware for the first time of the teeming horrors of life.A Spirit in Prison
Jeter and Eyer both understood the thoughts which were teeming in Kress' brain.Lords of the Stratosphere
Arthur J. Burks
Town or country, it's all the same—the air chokes me, it's teeming with moral bacilli.Audrey Craven
- (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 teeming
"swarming," 1715, present participle adjective from teem (v.1).
"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.