- to appear to be; have the look of being: to seem happy
- to appear; give the impression: usually followed by an infinitive: he seems to know the facts
- to have the impression; think: followed by an infinitive: I seem to have lost it
- to appear to exist: there seems no point in going
- to be apparently true: it seems he was here
Origin of seemMiddle English semen, probably ; from Old Norse sœma, to conform to (akin to Old English seman, to bring to agreement) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form sem- from source same
intransitive verbseemed, seem·ing, seems
- To give the impression of being in a certain way; appear to be: The child seems healthy, but the doctor is concerned. The house seems to be in good condition.
- Used to call attention to one's impression or understanding about something, especially in weakening the force of a following infinitive: I can't seem to get the story straight.
- To appear to be probable or evident: It seems you object to the plan. It seems like rain.
Origin of seemMiddle English semen, from Old Norse sœma, to conform to, from sœmr, fitting; see sem-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present seems, present participle seeming, simple past and past participle seemed)
- This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.
Middle English semen "to seem, befit, be becoming" from Old Norse sÅ“ma (“to conform to, beseem, befit") (> Danish sÃ¸mme (“beseem")) from sÅ“mr (“fitting, seemly"), from Proto-Germanic *sÅmijanÄ… (“to unite, fit"), akin to Old Norse sÅmi (“honour") (> archaic Danish somme (“decent comportment")), Old English sÄ“man (“to reconcile, bring an agreement"), Old English sÅm (“agreement").