Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

seem - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close
What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close
ThesaurusThesaurus
Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb [intransitive] [never progressive]     seem pronunciation in American English
/sim/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyseem
he/she/itseems
present participleseeming
past tenseseemed
past participleseemed
  1. 1
    to appear to be something, or to appear to have a particular quality

    John seems nice.

    seem (to be) someone/something:

    Susan seems like a very sensible person.

    seem happy/genuine/relaxed etc. to someone:

    He seems happy enough to me.

    seem like:

    Going out for lunch seemed like a good idea.

    seem to do something:

    She seemed to take very good care of herself.

  2. 2
    used when you want to say something in a more careful or polite and less direct way
    it seems/would seem (that):

    It seems there’s going to be a slight delay.

    seem to have done something:

    I seem to have forgotten your name.

    can’t seem to do something:

    We can’t seem to get this computer to work.

phrases

BuzzWord

moonbow

a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play