verb (used without object)

Origin of appear

1250–1300; Middle English ap(p)eren < Anglo-French, Old French aper-, tonic stem of apare(i)r, apparoir < Latin appārēre be seen, appear, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + pārēre be visible
Related formsre·ap·pear, verb (used without object)well-ap·pear·ing, adjective

Synonyms for appear

1. emerge, arise. 2. See seem. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for appear

Contemporary Examples of appear

Historical Examples of appear

  • They did not appear frightened, but he could not make anything out of them.

  • She was trying to extort a promise that she should appear in its pages, which, as we all remember, she did.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Grievously disordered they appear to be, as Hannah tells me.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • We will not appear like fools in this matter, and as if we have no authority over our own daughter.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The Arabs also appear to have held similar opinions as to the power of music.

British Dictionary definitions for appear


verb (intr)

to come into sight or view
(copula; may take an infinitive) to seem or lookthe evidence appears to support you
to be plain or clear, as after further evidence, etcit appears you were correct after all
to develop or come into being; occurfaults appeared during testing
to become publicly available; be publishedhis biography appeared last month
to perform or acthe has appeared in many London productions
to be present in court before a magistrate or judgehe appeared on two charges of theft

Word Origin for appear

C13: from Old French aparoir, from Latin appārēre to become visible, attend upon, from pārēre to appear
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

Word Origin and History for appear

late 13c., "to come into view," from stem of Old French aparoir (12c., Modern French apparoir) "appear, come to light, come forth," from Latin apparere "to appear, come in sight, make an appearance," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + parere "to come forth, be visible," from PIE root *per- "to bring forth" (see pare). Of persons, "present oneself," late 14c. Meaning "seem, have a certain appearance" is late 14c. Related: Appeared; appearing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper