- 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 teems
But then a rump faction—AAPS teems with rump factions—mounted a very convincing case for Vice President Joe Biden.Electing a Punch Line
October 20, 2008
All travellers in Africa have borne testimony to the fact that it teems with animals.Hunting the Lions
One of the many errors with which the volume of Robertson teems.The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2)
Yet Christianity too, in spite of ecclesiasticism, teems with ideas.At Large
Arthur Christopher Benson
This Piazza teems with every personal association relating to the Scaligers.The Story of Verona
Every science, even mathematics, teems with unsolved problems.Natural Philosophy
- (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 teems
"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.