Main definitions of teem in English

: teem1teem2

teem1

verb

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

    ‘every garden is teeming with wildlife’
    ‘she walked briskly through the teeming streets’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The street outside was teeming and the other places I peered into all looked equally packed.’
    • ‘Its 24 acres teem with wildlife and offer a haven from the rush and bustle of a tourist city.’
    • ‘Located in a street teeming with Italian restaurants, the beauty of this place is they'll always manage to squeeze you in somehow.’
    • ‘Today, the same streets teem with chic shops and restaurants, and many of the old factories have been converted into fancy apartments.’
    • ‘I drove down streets that once teemed with life and now are ruined wastelands.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘The park is more commonly associated with the restorative powers of its 2,000 rose garden, teeming wildlife and hay meadows.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Venture out onto the teeming high street if you dare and the true nature of Camden will be revealed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A couple of cats can do much less damage than a teeming apartment full of them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Aristide hasn't ventured out into the teeming streets, though officials say he is free to come and go.’
    • ‘The streets of Saigon teem with people, noises, and smells like no other city in Asia.’
    • ‘Streets that once teemed with activity were now more silent than a graveyard.’
    • ‘In the deep sea, where it's too dark for photosynthesis, the water teems with crabs, fish, jellyfish, mollusks, and other life-forms.’
    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
    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

/tēm//tim/

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 event became even more surreal as the heavens opened and a monsoon rain teemed down, but the boxing went on regardless.’
    • ‘The residents were piling up sodden carpets and furniture by the roadside, with the rain still teeming down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But alas, the June day teemed with rain and the street parties had to retreat indoors.’
    • ‘It was a very watery first half with the rain teeming down on the players.’
    • ‘I could have smashed the bottle on the concrete front doorstep, but the rain was teeming down and I would get wet again.’
    • ‘They stood face to face under the balcony in the moonlight as the blustery rain teemed around them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I got outside the store, I found that it was now absolutely teeming with rain and the wind was blowing half a gale.’
    • ‘The rain teemed down her face but she seemed not to care and her soaked clothes stuck to her body.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the rain teemed down and a few rosy painted cheeks started to drip!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So hard was the rain teeming down on Friday that play on the famous golf course was called off before 3pm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfortunately it was the first real night of winter and rain teemed down intermittently.’
    pour, pour down, pelt down, tip down, beat down, lash down, sheet down, come down in sheets, come down in torrents, rain cats and dogs
    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

/tēm//tim/