[ uh-peer ]
See synonyms for: appearappearedappearingappears on

verb (used without object)
  1. to come into sight; become visible: A man suddenly appeared in the doorway.

  2. to have the appearance of being; seem; look: to appear wise.

  1. to be obvious or easily perceived; be clear or made clear by evidence: It appears to me that you are right.

  2. to come or be placed before the public; be published: Her biography appeared last year.

  3. to perform publicly, as in a play, dance, etc.: He appeared as the king in the play.

  4. to attend or be present, especially to arrive late or stay but a short time: He appeared at the party but left quickly.

  5. to come into being; be created, invented, or developed: Speech appears in the child's first or second year.

  6. Law. to come formally, especially as a party or counsel, to a proceeding before a tribunal, authority, etc.

Origin of appear

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English ap(p)eren, from Anglo-French, Old French aper-, tonic stem of apare(i)r, apparoir, from Latin appārēre “to be seen, appear,” equivalent to ap-ap-1 + pārēre “to be visible”

synonym study For appear

2. See seem.

Other words for appear

Other words from appear

  • re·ap·pear, verb (used without object)
  • well-ap·pear·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use appear in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for appear


/ (əˈpɪə) /

  1. to come into sight or view

  2. (copula; may take an infinitive) to seem or look: the evidence appears to support you

  1. to be plain or clear, as after further evidence, etc: it appears you were correct after all

  2. to develop or come into being; occur: faults appeared during testing

  3. to become publicly available; be published: his biography appeared last month

  4. to perform or act: he has appeared in many London productions

  5. to be present in court before a magistrate or judge: he appeared on two charges of theft

Origin of 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