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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


be/seem like a dream (=seem unreal)
▪ That summer was so wonderful it seemed like a dream.
It didn’t seem worth bothering
It didn’t seem worth bothering the doctor about.
it is/seems reasonable to assume (that)
▪ It seems reasonable to assume that the book was written around 70 AD.
it seems certain that …
▪ It seemed certain that the other team would win.
look/sound/feel/taste/seem like
▪ The garden looked like a jungle.
▪ At last he felt like a real soldier.
looks/seems/sounds fine
▪ In theory, the scheme sounds fine.
sb seems/looks/appears certain to do sth
▪ For a while the whole project looked certain to fail.
seem impossible
▪ It seemed impossible that he would ever recover from the injury.
seem unaware
▪ John seemed totally unaware of the effect he was having on my daughters.
seem unhappy
▪ Did Bill seem unhappy to you?
seem/appear enthusiastic
▪ I wanted to go, but Helen seemed less enthusiastic.
seem/appear nervous
▪ She seemed nervous at first, but her presentation was good.
seem/appear obvious
▪ It seems obvious to me that he is guilty.
seem/appear/look likely
▪ Which candidate seems likely to win?
seem/look/appear shocked
▪ He glanced at his mother, who looked shocked.
seem/look/sound embarrassed
▪ The judge seemed embarrassed to be asking her such personal questions.
Strange as it may seem
Strange as it may seem, I actually prefer cold weather.
what seemed like an eternity
▪ Here she waited for what seemed like an eternity.
▪ It seemed almost to speak to her.
▪ At that point, even a 3, 000-mile plane ride home into relentless headwinds almost seemed preferable to Vancouver.
▪ Black rain clouds were riding up from the south, killing the light and making the day seem almost over.
▪ The severity of his inwardness almost seemed to demand it.
▪ It seemed almost impossible to many people that such tiny things as micro-organisms could have been fossilised at all.
▪ It begins to seem almost as far as 1848.
▪ Sometimes this seems almost to rebuke me, to be a heavy price to pay for a simple preference of male anatomy.
▪ In looking at childhood photographs, her sullenness, always seeming to be apart, looking rather sour, tense.
▪ He was simply hunting, but eagles always seem an omen.
▪ Gironella always seems acutely aware of these issues.
▪ She seems always in the process of ignoring this system when her strange husband is around.
▪ He is the only person I know who always seems to mean what he says when he talks about art.
▪ And isn't that the way it always seems to be when the champion goes on the decline?
▪ The basis of the Babylonian calendar seems always to have been lunar.
▪ The town has always seemed 30 miles off the edge of the universe.
▪ It also seems likely that he-and the design team-were tempted by the clothes of the later period.
▪ The bill was approved 64-32 by the Senate on Wednesday, and approval seems likely in the House by early March.
▪ Interestingly enough, however, pressure for accountable government seems likely to come from another direction altogether.
▪ Four years ago, the school had so few students that closure seemed likely.
▪ It seems likely that two separate parties will emerge in its place.
▪ The error involved seems likely to be small relative to other uncertain-ties noted and, if so, is not serious.
▪ Everything is now in place for a rigged election that seems likely to usher in a military dictatorship.
▪ So, although predicting is risky, it seems likely that the special learner population will expand and pressures thereby will accelerate.
▪ Born when the earth sleeps, yet Effie never seemed to rest and had soon worn out a rather fragile Marjorie.
▪ The man seemed never to sleep.
▪ He never seemed to have a chance.
▪ Strangely enough, whenever I visit Motherhouse, I never seem to need it.
▪ The education ministry's minuscule maintenance budget never seemed to find its way up to tiny Varosh.
▪ However fast we run, we never seem to get anywhere.
▪ The only thing that is missing is the smell of steam and hot oil and that never seems all that far away.
▪ Thousands of people hurry past them each day and never seem to notice their beauty.
▪ Hanging would seem quite a lenient sentence considering the enormity of his crime in those harsh old days.
▪ One of them, however, seems quite clear.
▪ But today with his mind too preoccupied to work he seemed quite unable to keep his hands off it.
▪ The abilities of the bonobos, in particular, seem quite promising.
▪ Somehow it didn't seem quite right.
▪ Everyone seemed quite at ease as they remained standing and casting large shadows on Lois and her group.
▪ He cut off its head with his sword. and this would seem quite reasonable; but could I write this?
▪ There was no mistaking the snow-covered surroundings for Casablanca, but as Azmi joined the youngsters he seemed quite at home.
▪ But for other experiments the interpretation seems very plausible.
▪ The Ptolemaic system seems very artificial to us today.
▪ All at once the hotel seemed very small - another small dark grubby place that was locking her in.
▪ Patterns of disruption and reconstitution of kin groups do seem very different now by comparison with the past.
▪ In the absence of new developments, old ones may seem very impressive for quite a long while.
▪ He seems very silent and uneasy.
▪ Antiracism seems very comfortable with this idea of blacks as victims.
be/feel/seem etc disposed to do sth
▪ Congress has had a torrent of learned advice on this amendment, none of which it seems disposed to listen to.
▪ Ernest Conway had never felt disposed to adopt a conventional, benign, grandfatherly role.
▪ Gradually the talkative groups settled into a contented silence, but no one seemed disposed to go to sleep.
▪ Headteachers say governors come to school on special occasions but don't seem disposed to become involved more routinely in school affairs.
▪ James didn't seem disposed to take the hint.
▪ Seb's father was a large, comfortable-looking man who did not seem disposed to make a fuss.
▪ The brothers exchanged glances, neither saying a word, though they seemed disposed to.
▪ The very houses seemed disposed to pack up and take trips.
be/seem/look nothing like sb/sth
▪ Certainly the lateral geniculate nucleus in rats looks nothing like the lateral geniculate nucleus in monkeys.
▪ It's classed as being a conifer but it looks nothing like one.
▪ Remember that the intermediate stored pattern may be pretty abstract, looking nothing like the input pattern.
▪ She insisted that I looked nothing like Majella.
▪ She looked nothing like her photograph.
▪ The problem is that in its juvenile form it looks nothing like the adult specimen.
▪ The zone blitz can fluster an offense because it looks nothing like a conventional blitz.
▪ This suspect looks nothing like Nichols, a slightly built, light-skinned man in his 40s with thinning hair.
not be/feel/seem herself
not be/feel/seem himself
▪ He had not felt himself a part of what governments decided.
▪ He had not felt himself bound by their rules - basically, he hadn't felt himself.
not seem/be/feel yourself
▪ "Why did you move to New York?" "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
▪ It seemed to Jim that Amy was worried about something.
▪ It seems likely that they will release the hostages soon.
▪ It seems that someone forgot to lock the door.
▪ Katie seems happy at her new school.
▪ Kevin seems like a nice guy.
▪ Lack of money seems to be the main problem.
▪ Ricky graduated, but didn't seem to know what to do with his life. He was drifting.
▪ The whole situation seems very strange to me.
▪ There seems to be something wrong with the TV.
▪ There were so many delays - it seemed as if we would never get home.
▪ You seem kind of nervous.
▪ He seems to have no particular craving for society.
▪ Mr Assad once seemed to support perhaps the easiest solution: his son.
▪ The circle seems unbroken, and now, in this new millennium, Showcase promises to be even more successful.
▪ The voting seems in fact to have been orderly, though claims made about the plan were plainly false.
▪ They kept ordering more brandy and all seemed genuinely upset.
The Collaborative International Dictionary


Seem \Seem\ (s[=e]m), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Seemed (s[=e]md); p. pr. & vb. n. Seeming.] [OE. semen to seem, to become, befit, AS. s[=e]man to satisfy, pacify; akin to Icel. s[ae]ma to honor, to bear with, conform to, s[ae]mr becoming, fit, s[=o]ma 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. 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.''

Thou picture of what thou seem'st.

All seemed well pleased; all seemed, but were not all.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.
--Prov. xiv. 12.

It seems, it appears; it is understood as true; it is said.

A prince of Italy, it seems, entertained his mistress on a great lake.

Syn: To appear; look.

Usage: 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.''


Seem \Seem\, v. t. To befit; to beseem. [Obs.]



  1. v. 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"

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary


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- (cognates: 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.



vb. (lb en copulative) To appear; to look outwardly; to be perceived as.



SEEM as an acronym may stand for:

  • Serially Electrically Erasable Memory
  • Social Enterprise East Midlands

Usage examples of "seem".

The Heir-Empress was an Aberrant, and the Empress in her hubris still seemed intent on putting her on the throne.

A shadow seemed to settle on his heart as he thought of the Aberrant lady they had met in Axekami.

In truth, she wondered that Tane did not suspect Asara of being an Aberrant, but it seemed that he would rather not know.

It seems likely that Raeder took this step largely because he wanted to anticipate any sudden aberration of his unpredictable Leader.

Bal had lent Barrie to us, and without a woman to aid and abet him, it seemed to me that he was powerless.

I am charged with aiding and abetting his escape it seems to me that I have a right to know who he is.

So they took counsel together, and to some it seemed better to abide the onset on their vantage ground.

It bore both the rich aroma of leaves being burnt in the fall and the faint perfume of wildflowers ablow in the spring, but it also held a third attar which seemed to be the breath of the Wind itself which none could ever set name to.

In many of his contemporaries also much the same fluctuation of mood was occurring, and to them as to Paul it seemed that the issue lay between the old faith, however modernized, and the complete abnegation of human dignity.

It is one of a small group of diseases characterized by the production of abnormally high quantities of urine, so that water seemed simply to pass through the body in a hurry.

Walgun, and though the place seemed deserted, an abo in a singlet and shorts eventually answered the blare of our horn.

Tuck looked to Abo, who seemed satisfied that the chief was backing him up.

Men were started aboard this ship, it seemed, even when they were doing their work efficiently.

So they abode a little, and the more part of what talk there was came from the Lady, and she was chiefly asking Ralph of his home in Upmeads, and his brethren and kindred, and he told her all openly, and hid naught, while her voice ravished his very soul from him, and it seemed strange to him, that such an one should hold him in talk concerning these simple matters and familiar haps, and look on him so kindly and simply.

A swarm of birds-gulls and ternswas wheeling over half an acre of water that seemed to be aboil with living things.