AskDefine | Define seem

Dictionary Definition



1 give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect; "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" [syn: look, appear]
2 seem to be true, probable, or apparent; "It seems that he is very gifted"; "It appears that the weather in California is very bad" [syn: appear]
3 appear to exist; "There seems no reason to go ahead with the project now"
4 appear to one's own mind or opinion; "I seem to be misunderstood by everyone"; "I can't seem to learn these Chinese characters"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To appear; to look outwardly; to be perceived as.
    He seems to be ill.
    Her eyes seem blue.


  • 1813 (14th C.): Dante Alighieri, The Vision of Hell as translated by The Rev. H. F. Cary.
    He, from his face removing the gross air,Oft his left hand forth stretch'd, and seem'd aloneBy that annoyance wearied.

Usage notes

Derived terms


to appear

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ape, appear, appear like, approach, approximate, be like, be redolent of, bear resemblance, bring to mind, call to mind, call up, come close, come near, compare with, copy, correspond, counterfeit, evoke, favor, feel, follow, hint, imitate, imply, insinuate, intimate, look, look like, match, mimic, mirror, near, nearly reproduce, not tell apart, parallel, partake of, remind one of, resemble, savor of, seem like, seem to be, simulate, smack of, sound, sound like, stack up with, suggest, take after
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