• synonyms


See more synonyms for seemly on Thesaurus.com
adjective, seem·li·er, seem·li·est.
  1. fitting or becoming with respect to propriety or good taste; decent; decorous: Your outburst of rage was hardly seemly.
  2. suitable or appropriate; fitting: a seemly gesture.
  3. of pleasing appearance; handsome.
Show More
  1. in a seemly manner; fittingly; becomingly.
Show More

Origin of seemly

1175–1225; Middle English semely < Old Norse sæmiligr honorable; derivative of sœmr (see seem)
Related formsseem·li·ness, noun


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for seemliness

Historical Examples

  • Seemliness is conduct which befits one's character and standards.


    William Graham Sumner

  • Seemliness is a light, remote, and less important form of propriety.


    William Graham Sumner

  • But he is a great lord, and in seemliness he asks for a lie, and that which he asks is given to him—in seemliness.


    Arnold Bennett

  • Mezura, seemliness, is contrasted with dezmezura, licentiousness.

  • All man's seemliness and affection for the natural things of earth were absent.

    Henry Brocken

    Walter J. de la Mare

British Dictionary definitions for seemliness


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. proper or fitting
  2. obsolete pleasing or handsome in appearance
Show More
  1. archaic properly or decorously
Show More
Derived Formsseemliness, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse sœomiligr, from sœmr befitting
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 seemliness



"of pleasing or good appearance," also "proper, tasteful, decorous," early 13c., semlich, from Old Norse soemiligr "becoming, honorable," from soemr (see seem). Related: Seemliness. Cf. Old Norse soemleitr "fine to look at."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper