- seemW1S1 [si:m] v [linking verb, not in progressive][Date: 1100-1200; : Old Norse; Origin: sœma 'to be appropriate to', from sœmr 'appropriate']1.) to appear to exist or be true, or to have a particular quality▪ Ann didn't seem very sure.▪ It seems a foolish decision now.seem to do sth▪ The rainbow seemed to end on the hillside.seem important/right/strange etc to sb▪ Doesn't that seem weird to you?it seems to sb (that)▪ It seems to me you don't have much choice.it seems (that)▪ It seemed that Freeman had killed the man, and dumped the body in the lake.it seems likely/unlikely/reasonable/clear (that)▪ It seems likely that he will miss Ireland's next match.seem like▪ Teri seemed like a nice girl.▪ Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.▪ We waited for what seemed like hours .seem as if/as though/like▪ It seemed as if the end of the world had come.▪ It seems like you're catching a cold, Taylor.▪ 'So Bill's leaving her?' ' So it seems (=it appears to be true) .'2.) can't/couldn't seem to do sthused to say that you have tried to do something but cannot do it▪ I just can't seem to relax.3.) used to make what you are saying less strong or certain, and more politeseem to do sth▪ I seem to have lost my car keys.it seems (that)/it would seem (that)▪ It would seem that someone left the building unlocked.▬▬▬▬▬▬▬WORD CHOICE: seem, appear, look, soundSeem and appear have the same meaning but appear is more formal : They seem upset. | This appears to be a good solution.You use look to say how someone or something seems to you when you look at them : Maureen looked tired. | That book looks good.You use sound to say how someone or something seems to you when you hear or read about them, or hear them : She sounds a lovely person. | The party sounded great. |He sounded tired.GRAMMARSeem can be followed by an adjective or an adjective and noun : She seemed happy. | He seems a nice man.Seem can also be followed by a verb in the infinitive : His story seems to be true. | You seem to think it's my fault.!! Seem can be followed by as if or as though but not just by as : It seems a small thing (NOT it seems as a small thing), but it's very important. |It seemed as if he wanted us to leave (NOT it seemed as he wanted ...).▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.