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appear - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive] [not usually progressive]     appear pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleappearing
past tenseappeared
past participleappeared
  1. 1
    to make other people think that you are something or feel something. Appear is a slightly more formal word than seem

    This job is not as easy as it may appear.

    appear to do something:

    No one appeared to notice me.

    it appears (that):

    It appears that she’s changed her mind.

    there appears to be:

    There appears to be very little we can do about the problem.

    appear to have done something:

    The building appears to have been used as a place of worship.

    what appears to be:

    Gibbs was shot in what appears to be a gangland killing.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    if someone or something appears somewhere, you begin to see them suddenly or for the first time

    Cracks began to appear in the ceiling.

    1. a.
      to arrive somewhere

      As soon as she appears, we can get started.

  3. 4
    to go to a court of law, committee, or similar institution, so that people can ask you questions and make decisions about what you say

    He is due to appear in court today.

    appear before/in front of:

    Mr Smith will appear before magistrates next month.

  4. 5
    if something new or different appears, it starts to exist or to be known about for the first time

    Yet another boy band has appeared on the music scene.

    1. a.
      to become available for the first time

      This was when sushi began to appear on restaurant menus in London.

      the latest personal computer to appear on the market

  5. 6
    to be written or printed somewhere

    Jane’s name did not appear on the list.

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