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seem Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect
    look; appear.
    • She seems to be sleeping
    • This appears to be a very difficult problem
    • This project looks fishy
    • They appeared like people who had not eaten or slept for a long time
  2. verb seem to be true, probable, or apparent
    • It seems that he is very gifted
    • It appears that the weather in California is very bad
  3. verb appear to exist
    • There seems no reason to go ahead with the project now
  4. verb appear to one's own mind or opinion
    • I seem to be misunderstood by everyone
    • I can't seem to learn these Chinese characters

Seem intransitive verb
OE. semen to seem, to become, befit, AS. sman to satisfy, pacify; akin to Icel. sma to honor, to bear with, conform to, smr becoming, fit, sma to beseem, to befit, sama to beseem, semja to arrange, settle, put right, Goth. samjan to please, and to E. same. The sense is probably due to the adj. seemly. See Same, a., and cf. Seemly.
imperfect & past participle Seemed ; present participle & verbal noun Seeming
  1. To appear, or to appear to be; to have a show or semblance; to present an appearance; to look; to strike one's apprehension or fancy as being; to be taken as. "It now seemed probable." Macaulay.
    Thou picture of what thou seem'st. Shak.
    All seemed well pleased; all seemed, but were not all. Milton.
    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov. xiv. 12.
    A prince of Italy, it seems, entertained his misstress on a great lake. Addison.
    Syn. -- To appear; look. -- Seem, Appear. To appear has reference to a thing's being presented to our view; as, the sun appears; to seem is connected with the idea of semblance, and usually implies an inference of our mind as to the probability of a thing's being so; as, a storm seems to be coming. "The story appears to be true," means that the facts, as presented, go to show its truth; "the story seems to be true," means that it has the semblance of being so, and we infer that it is true. "His first and principal care being to appear unto his people such as he would have them be, and to be such as he appeared." Sir P. Sidney.
    Ham. Ay, madam, it is common. Queen. If it be, Why seems it so particular with thee? Ham. Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not "seems." Shak.
Seem transitive verb
  1. To befit; to beseem. Obs. Spenser.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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