Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To be full of things; abound or swarm: A drop of water teems with microorganisms.
  • intransitive v. Obsolete To be or become pregnant; bear young.
  • transitive v. Archaic To give birth to.
  • transitive v. To pour out or empty: teemed the molten ore into a huge mold.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be stocked to overflowing
  • v. To be prolific; to abound.
  • v. To empty.
  • v. To pour (especially with rain)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To pour; -- commonly followed by out.
  • transitive v. To pour, as steel, from a melting pot; to fill, as a mold, with molten metal.
  • transitive v. To think fit.
  • intransitive v. To bring forth young, as an animal; to produce fruit, as a plant; to bear; to be pregnant; to conceive; to multiply.
  • intransitive v. To be full, or ready to bring forth; to be stocked to overflowing; to be prolific; to abound.
  • transitive v. To produce; to bring forth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To produce; bring forth; bear.
  • To bring; lead; take; reflexively, to betake one's self; appeal.
  • To be or become pregnant; engender young; conceive; bear; produce.
  • To be full as if ready to bring forth; be stocked to overflowing; be prolific or abundantly fertile.
  • To be fit for; be becoming or appropriate to; befit.
  • To think fit.
  • To pour; empty; toom; specifically, to pour in the casting of crucible steel.
  • To pour; come down in torrents: as, it not only rains, it teems.
  • An old spelling of team.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. move in large numbers
  • v. be teeming, be abuzz

Etymologies

Middle English temen, to beget, bear, from Old English tīeman, tēman.
Middle English temen, from Old Norse töma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English tēman, whence also team. (Wiktionary)
From Old Norse tœma. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The streets around the Jardin teem with restaurants and artisan shops.

    Treasure of the Sierra Madre -- wintering in San Miguel de Allende

  • The words of Father John A. Conway, S.J. (in the preface to Fr. von Hammerstein's work, "Edgar, or from Atheism to the Full Truth") may well be quoted in this connection: "Who can read the words that teem from the German

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • Satyam you brought up Shakespeare; let me add Joyce: much as I love Ulysses and Leopold Bloom, the novel does not "teem".

    NAACHGAANA

  • Even the likes of Ghajini do not "teem" the way a really high-quality masala movie would; and the likes of Bhansali provoke death-by-stupefaction at the juxtaposition of the cavernous interiors and mere handful of characters.

    NAACHGAANA

  • Immaculate and often monochrome, his paintings teem with an all but inscrutable iconography of personal history.

    Nicole Garton: Ingenue Interview: Ugo Nonis

  • Our suggested walk to Shipstal Beach, a gorgeous sweep of sand that bleeds into the trees behind, takes you through some classic English woodland, past ponds that teem with frogs and newts, and to a hide from which you can watch the birds that have made their home here.

    Secret beaches of the south-west: Shipstal Beach< Dorset

  • It is time to hold the lazy and the unwilling accountable and make teem earn their way.

    Democrats fear Obama health plan 'on the rocks'

  • All of us will benefit from a world where ocean ecosystems teem with the myriad species that provide humankind with food and livelihoods, and from the joy of sharing our world with mysterious and beautiful animals like sharks.

    Julie Packard: It's Time to Save Sharks

  • Or, if it exists, it exists tucked away in the alleyways and energetic souqs of the Christian and Muslim Quarters and in East Jerusalem, north of Damascus Gate, where the streets still teem with life later into the night.

    Kazim Ali: A Walking Guide to the Heart of a City

  • Microorganisms now teem in almost every habitat, from poles to deserts to geysers, rocks, and the inky depths of the oceans.

    SuperCooperators

Comments

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  • prolific or fit or empty

    February 8, 2013

  • Meet in reverse.

    July 22, 2007