seem

[seem]
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verb (used without object)

to appear to be, feel, do, etc.: She seems better this morning.
to appear to one's own senses, mind, observation, judgment, etc.: It seems to me that someone is calling.
to appear to exist: There seems no need to go now.
to appear to be true, probable, or evident: It seems likely to rain.
to give the outward appearance of being or to pretend to be: He only seems friendly because he wants you to like him.

Origin of seem

1150–1200; Middle English seme < Old Norse sœma to befit, beseem, derivative of sœmr fitting, seemly; akin to sōmi honor

Synonyms for seem

4. Seem, appear, look refer to an outward aspect that may or may not be contrary to reality. Seem is applied to something that has an aspect of truth and probability: It seems warmer today. Appear suggests the giving of an impression that may be superficial or illusory: The house appears to be deserted. Look more vividly suggests the use of the eye (literally or figuratively) or the aspect as perceived by the eye: She looked very much frightened.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for seem

Contemporary Examples of seem

Historical Examples of seem

  • It did seem to me that some of our best officers were invariably placed in the most unimportant positions and commands.

  • The surface is porous; the cells are distant and arranged irregularly, and seem as if composed of sand cemented with mud.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • Her taking of it began to seem to Artois, as it had evidently seemed to Gaspare, a fact of profound significance.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The congregation is very small, consisting almost exclusively of women, who seem to do penance for both sexes in Cuba.

    Foot-prints of Travel

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • The color of the feathers does not seem to affect the quality of the flesh or their character for laying.

    Domestic Animals

    Richard L. Allen



British Dictionary definitions for seem

seem

verb (may take an infinitive)

(copula) to appear to the mind or eye; lookthis seems nice; the car seems to be running well
to give the impression of existing; appear to bethere seems no need for all this nonsense
used to diminish the force of a following infinitive to be polite, more noncommittal, etcI can't seem to get through to you
Derived Formsseemer, noun

Word Origin for seem

C12: perhaps from Old Norse soma to beseem, from sœmr befitting; related to Old English sēman to reconcile; see same

xref

See like 1
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 seem
v.

c.1200, "to appear to be;" c.1300, "to be fitting, be appropriate, be suitable," though the more recent sense in English is the etymological one; from Old Norse soema "to honor; to put up with; to conform to (the world, etc.)," verb derived from adjective soemr "fitting," from Proto-Germanic *somi- (cf. Old English som "agreement, reconciliation," seman "to conciliate," source of Middle English semen "to settle a dispute," literally "to make one;" Old Danish some "to be proper or seemly"), from PIE *som-i-, from root *sem- "one, as one" (see same). Related: Seemed; seeming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper