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[uh-peer] /əˈpɪər/
verb (used without object)
to come into sight; become visible:
A man suddenly appeared in the doorway.
to have the appearance of being; seem; look:
to appear wise.
to be obvious or easily perceived; be clear or made clear by evidence:
It appears to me that you are right.
to come or be placed before the public; be published:
Her biography appeared last year.
to perform publicly, as in a play, dance, etc.:
He appeared as the king in the play.
to attend or be present, especially to arrive late or stay but a short time:
He appeared at the party but left quickly.
to come into being; be created, invented, or developed:
Speech appears in the child's first or second year.
Law. to come formally, especially as a party or counsel, to a proceeding before a tribunal, authority, etc.
Origin of appear
1250-1300; Middle English ap(p)eren < Anglo-French, Old French aper-, tonic stem of apare(i)r, apparoir < Latin appārēre be seen, appear, equivalent to ap- ap1 + pārēre be visible
Related forms
reappear, verb (used without object)
well-appearing, adjective
1. emerge, arise. 2. See seem. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for appear
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The most cunning,” was the reply, “can always contrive to appear the most simple.

  • That Tom's behaviour will appear tepid, in these vigorous days, is to be feared.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • You appear already to have lost your heart, and what will be the effect of your attentions on her?

    Won from the Waves W.H.G. Kingston
  • We should not like to appear backward on such an occasion, for many reasons.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Troas was a very fitting place in which this vision should appear.

British Dictionary definitions for appear


verb (intransitive)
to come into sight or view
(copula; may take an infinitive) to seem or look: the evidence appears to support you
to be plain or clear, as after further evidence, etc: it appears you were correct after all
to develop or come into being; occur: faults appeared during testing
to become publicly available; be published: his biography appeared last month
to perform or act: he has appeared in many London productions
to be present in court before a magistrate or judge: he appeared on two charges of theft
Word Origin
C13: from Old French aparoir, from Latin appārēre to become visible, attend upon, from pārēre to appear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for appear

late 13c., "to come into view," from stem of Old French aparoir (12c., Modern French apparoir) "appear, come to light, come forth," from Latin apparere "to appear, come in sight, make an appearance," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + parere "to come forth, be visible," from PIE root *per- "to bring forth" (see pare). Of persons, "present oneself," late 14c. Meaning "seem, have a certain appearance" is late 14c. Related: Appeared; appearing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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