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  1. present participle of seem


seeming (comparative more seeming, superlative most seeming)

  1. Appearing to the eye or mind (distinguished from, and often opposed to, real or actual).
    Synonyms: apparent, ostensible
    seeming friendship
    • c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii]:
      O, good my lord, you have lost a friend / And I dare swear you borrow not that face / Of seeming sorrow—it is sure your own.
    • 1671, Aphra Behn, The Amorous Prince, or, The Curious Husband, London: Thomas Dring, Act II, Scene 5, pp. 32-33,[1]
      I'le hide my anger in a seeming calm,
      And what I have to do, consult the while,
      And mask my vengeance underneath a smile.
    • 1765, Oliver Goldsmith, Essays, London: W. Griffin, Essay 18, p. 150,[2]
      Of all the English philosophers, I most reverence Bacon, that great and hardy genius: he it is who, undaunted by the seeming difficulties that oppose, prompts human curiosity to examine every part of nature;
    • 1876, George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Chapter 27,[3]
      [] she was overcome like the thirsty one who is drawn toward the seeming water in the desert []
    • 1955, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, Chapter 10,[4]
      [] though they marched in seeming peace, the hearts of all the army, from the highest to the lowest, were downcast, and with every mile that they went north foreboding of evil grew heavier on them.
    • 2020 August 4, Richard Conniff, “They may look goofy, but ostriches are nobody’s fool”, in National Geographic Magazine[5]:
      Fields (or “camps”) enclosed by chest-high wire fences now contain thousands of ostriches in seeming harmony, sometimes spread out like feathered chess pieces, sometimes seated in clusters.

Derived terms[edit]



seeming (countable and uncountable, plural seemings)

  1. Outward appearance.
  2. (obsolete) Apprehension; judgement.
    • 1604, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, London, Preface, p. 39,[8]
      Nothing more cleare vnto their seeming, then that a new Jerusalem being often spoken of in Scripture, they vndoubtedly were themselues that newe Ierusalem,
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 8, lines 736-738,[9]
      [] in her ears the sound
      Yet rung of his perswasive words, impregn’d
      With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth;