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verb (used without object)
  1. to form or have an opinion; judge; think: He did not deem lightly of the issue.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to hold as an opinion; think; regard: He deemed it wise to refuse the offer.
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Origin of deem

before 900; Middle English demen, Old English dēman; cognate with Gothic dōmjan, Old High German tuomen; see doom


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for deem

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was my duty to sound the pumps, but this I did not deem necessary.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Nevertheless, clever men are less sentimental than we deem them.

  • Can a woman who feels as I do deem any earthly good a sacrifice for him she loves?

  • Deem not this collocation simply a burlesque on Scientific categories.

  • But you would not deem it vain if you were the woman now resting on your bosom.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for deem


  1. (tr) to judge or considerI do not deem him worthy of this honour
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Word Origin

Old English dēman; related to Old High German tuomen to judge, Gothic domjan; see doom
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 deem


Old English deman "to judge, condemn, think, compute," from root of dom (see doom (n.)). Originally "to pronounce judgment" as well as "to form an opinion." The two judges of the Isle of Man were called deemsters in 17c., a title formerly common throughout England and Scotland and preserved in the surname Dempster.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper