Main definitions of teem in English

: teem1teem2

teem1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Be full of or swarming with.

    ‘every garden is teeming with wildlife’
    ‘she walked briskly through the teeming streets’
    • ‘The park is more commonly associated with the restorative powers of its 2,000 rose garden, teeming wildlife and hay meadows.’
    • ‘The city's streets teemed with people looking for entertainment, and he took advantage of the large audience, putting on 33 shows in three weeks.’
    • ‘With more than six billion people now inhabiting the planet, will we ever again see a time when whales fill the seas and the oceans teem with life?’
    • ‘A couple of cats can do much less damage than a teeming apartment full of them.’
    • ‘Its 24 acres teem with wildlife and offer a haven from the rush and bustle of a tourist city.’
    • ‘In the deep sea, where it's too dark for photosynthesis, the water teems with crabs, fish, jellyfish, mollusks, and other life-forms.’
    • ‘I drove down streets that once teemed with life and now are ruined wastelands.’
    • ‘On a visit to Calcutta he was walking with her down a street teeming with poor people when he asked her how she could hope to make a difference.’
    • ‘Today, the same streets teem with chic shops and restaurants, and many of the old factories have been converted into fancy apartments.’
    • ‘Streets that once teemed with activity were now more silent than a graveyard.’
    • ‘The streets of Saigon teem with people, noises, and smells like no other city in Asia.’
    • ‘Venture out onto the teeming high street if you dare and the true nature of Camden will be revealed.’
    • ‘As I step on to its teeming streets, I begin to understand his words, for the very pulse of this city can be felt instantly.’
    • ‘Aristide hasn't ventured out into the teeming streets, though officials say he is free to come and go.’
    • ‘The streets teem with hustling, bustling humanity, hag-like beggar women, street urchins and drunken revellers urinating against inn walls, all rubbing shoulders with the gentry in their smart clothes and carriages.’
    • ‘At times it was like being in a Mayfair disco or Warhol Happening, as drawings, photographs and digital images slowly teemed, swarmed, morphed and mutated over walls and ceilings.’
    • ‘Located in a street teeming with Italian restaurants, the beauty of this place is they'll always manage to squeeze you in somehow.’
    • ‘I imagine Vancouver will be different, its streets teeming with people from all over the world.’
    • ‘Passing trade from the teeming streets is thus discouraged.’
    • ‘The street outside was teeming and the other places I peered into all looked equally packed.’
    be full of, be filled with, be alive with, be brimming with, be overflowing with, abound in, be swarming with, be bursting at the seams with
    be packed with, be crowded with, be thronged with, be crawling with, be overrun by, bristle with, seethe with, be thick with, be crammed with, be cram-full of, be choked with, be congested with
    be jam-packed with, be chock-a-block with, be chock-full with, be lousy with
    pullulate with
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English tēman, tīeman, of Germanic origin; related to team. The original senses included ‘give birth to’, also ‘be or become pregnant’, giving rise to ‘be full of’ in the late 16th century.

Pronunciation:

teem

/tiːm/

Main definitions of teem in English

: teem1teem2

teem2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • (of water, especially rain) pour down; fall heavily.

    ‘with the rain teeming down at the manor, Italy seemed a long way off’
    • ‘The residents were piling up sodden carpets and furniture by the roadside, with the rain still teeming down.’
    • ‘So hard was the rain teeming down on Friday that play on the famous golf course was called off before 3pm.’
    • ‘It was a very watery first half with the rain teeming down on the players.’
    • ‘They stood face to face under the balcony in the moonlight as the blustery rain teemed around them.’
    • ‘I could have smashed the bottle on the concrete front doorstep, but the rain was teeming down and I would get wet again.’
    • ‘But alas, the June day teemed with rain and the street parties had to retreat indoors.’
    • ‘The rain teemed down her face but she seemed not to care and her soaked clothes stuck to her body.’
    • ‘It teemed rain from once we set foot on the trail, the underfoot conditions were such that it was like wading through a soft riverbed, it was blowing a gale in the valleys and a hurricane up top.’
    • ‘Unfortunately it was the first real night of winter and rain teemed down intermittently.’
    • ‘The event became even more surreal as the heavens opened and a monsoon rain teemed down, but the boxing went on regardless.’
    • ‘When I got outside the store, I found that it was now absolutely teeming with rain and the wind was blowing half a gale.’
    • ‘And though it may have been teeming down outside, we were grateful we weren't one of the brave few toughing it out under canvas.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the rain teemed down and a few rosy painted cheeks started to drip!’
    • ‘The rain teemed down as both teams took to the pitch and while it didn't dampen the jovial atmosphere at the ground, it did make for a frustrating sixty minutes of football for both teams.’
    • ‘Standing all day with the cattle was hard enough but if it was teeming rain, the big heavy coats of the time soaked the water and felt like a tonne weight by evening.’
    pelt down, tip down, beat down, lash down, sheet down, come down in sheets, come down in torrents, rain cats and dogs
    be chucking it down
    bucket down, come down in bucketloads, come down in buckets, come down in stair rods, tipple down
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse tœma to empty, from tómr empty. The original sense was to empty, specifically ‘to drain liquid from, pour liquid out’; the current sense (originally dialect) dates from the early 19th century.

Pronunciation:

teem

/tiːm/