seem


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Related to seem: seem like

can't seem to

Apparently unable to or incapable of doing something. I've been over these figures three times, but I just can't seem to get them to add up. He couldn't seem to figure out how to work the machine.
See also: seem

long shot

1. A bet that has a low probability of winning. That horse is a long shot, but the bet will pay well if he wins the race.
2. Something that has a very small chance of succeeding. I know it's a long shot because of his busy schedule, but maybe I can convince him to help me with this project. Her candidacy was a long shot from the beginning, and her landslide defeat was no surprise.
See also: long, shot

make (something) seem like a picnic

To be so difficult, complicated, or harmful as to make something else that is normally very difficult or negative seem easy, simple, or pleasant by comparison. If we don't act now, the financial crisis waiting for us will make the last recession seem like a picnic.
See also: like, make, picnic, seem

out of place

1. Not in the usual or proper place. We need to put everything back perfectly—Mom and Dad will know if even one book is out of place. The detective noticed that the picture frame was out of place.
2. Not appropriate for or fitting with the current surroundings or environment. I'm afraid your type of humor might be a little out of place in such a formal venue. I always felt out of place in school, like I was there by mistake. Their wild nautical-themed house is totally out of place in the neatly organized suburb.
See also: of, out, place

pressed for time

Having a small or limited amount of time available; in a hurry. I'm sorry, I can't chat for long. I need to go pick up the kids, and I'm a bit pressed for time. Don't plan an elaborate meal if you're pressed for time—we can just order a pizza instead.
See also: press, time

high-and-mighty

Fig. self-important and arrogant. I don't know why William is so high-and-mighty. He's no better than the rest of us. The boss acts high-and-mighty because he can fire us all.

*long shot

Fig. a risky bet; an attempt, bet, or proposition that has a low probability of success. (*Typically: be ~; seem like ~.) Your solution is a long shot, but we'll try it and hope it works.
See also: long, shot

*oneself again

showing signs of being healthy again or restored. (*Typically: act like ~; be ~; feel like ~; seem like ~.) After such a longillness, it'sgoodto be myself again. I'm sorry that I lost my temper. I think I feel like myself again now.
See also: again

*out of place

 
1. Lit. not in the proper place. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; knock something ~.) The book I wanted was out of place, and I almost did not find it. How did the furniture in this room get out of place?
2. Fig. inappropriate. (*Typically: be ~; Seem ~.) That kind of behavior is out of place at a party. Your crude language is out of place.
3. Fig. [of someone ] awkward and unwelcome. (*Typically: be ~; feel ~; seem ~.) I feel out of place at formal dances. Bob and Ann felt out of place at the picnic, so they went home.
See also: of, out, place

*pressed for time

 and *pushed for time
Fig. needing time; in a hurry. (*Typically: be ~; become ~; get ~; Seem ~.) If I weren't so pressed for time, I could help you. I can't talk to you. I'm too pushed for time. Can't talk to you now. I'm pressed for time.
See also: press, time

*putty in someone's hands

Fig. [of someone] easily influenced by someone else; excessively willing to do what someone else wishes. (Putty is soft and malleable. *Typically: be ~; seem like ~.) Bob's wife is putty in his hands. She never thinks for herself. Jane is putty in her mother's hands. She always does exactly what her mother says.
See also: hand, putty

seem like someone or something

to appear to be like some kind of person or something. You seemed like such a nice person when I met you. This seems like a nice day.
See also: like, seem

Things are seldom what they seem.

Prov. Things often appear different from what they really are. Emily seems to be a fine young lady, but be careful. Things are seldom what they seem. To judge from his elegant clothing and luxurious car, William was a wealthy man. But things are seldom what they seem; in fact, he was in desperate need of money.
See also: seem, seldom, Thing, what

can't seem to

Be apparently unable to, as in No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to concentrate on this book. This phrase gives added emphasis to a negative statement, as in the example. [Late 1800s]
See also: seem

out of place

Not in the proper situation, not belonging; inappropriate for the circumstances or location. For example, A high school graduate, she felt out of place among all these academics with advanced degrees , or This velvet sofa is out of place on the porch. This idiom uses place in the sense of "a fitting position." [First half of 1800s]
See also: of, out, place

pressed for time

In a hurry, as in How long will it take? I'm really pressed for time. This idiom uses press in the sense of "subject to pressure," a usage dating from the late 1600s.
See also: press, time

out of ˈplace


1 not in the correct place: Some of these files seem to be out place.
2 not suitable for a particular situation: Your silly remarks were completely out of place at such an important meeting.I feel quite out of place at a smart party like this.
See also: of, out, place

long shot

n. a wild guess; an attempt at something that has little chance of succeeding. You shouldn’t expect a long shot to pay off.
See also: long, shot

pressed for time

In a hurry; under time pressure.
See also: press, time
References in periodicals archive ?
Somehow, I can't seem to recall what the current project is.
Sure, the Tigers now seem unbeatable, but how unbeatable were they on the final weekend of the regular season when they dropped three straight to the lowly Kansas City Royals to give the Twins the AL Central title and assure themselves a first-round playoff date with the Yankees?
For example, although the mundane elements of the breathtaking Monkey's Recovery for a Darkened Room, 6, 1983, seem entirely random, its chained links of wood still manage to fall with odd (sausagelike?
We all know, or at least we all should realize, that reality is more complex than any of us can claim to understand, so our job as scholars is to try to bring a little clarity out of the complexity, to try to create useful, working knowledge out of what might seem chaos.
but seems perfectly reasonable today alongside the dozens of specialty channels devoted to cooking, pets, sci-fi, soaps, books, and--on my cable system--one click below the NASA channel, which on weekends broadcasts continuous footage of the earth rotating.
These people seem to have less immune activation and a better prognosis than do people infected with HIV-1, the strain of the virus that's the main source of infection in the United States and most of the world.
The market seems to be setting a trend; second-time buyers are upgrading to the $150,000 to $180,000 range, whereas homeowners from the $200,000 and over range seem to be downgrading.
Alice Walker writes a short story in which quilts are an important figure, but today it would seem that the story itself is but a figure for quilts.
Indeed, curled up on their couches or squatting on their bar stools, they seem much more likely than Truman to go on passively accepting the reality presented to them on their video screens, simply changing the channel when a story is over.
In practice, it would seem, the dimensions of today's Title IX right to sue are whatever O'Connor, the Court's moderate swing vote, says they are.
Two things, at least, seem to me significant about these collections of discarded religious objects and the animals.
The brushwork makes them seem to live, with infinite lines skillfully placed, appropriate colors, everything that shows perfect art of painting.
It's not so much the fault of Canadian communicators, although heaven knows they're far from perfect, but more the result of timid management, it seems to me.
But one runs the risk of imposing, or at least prioritizing, concepts that may seem alien or not particularly significant to the way others organize their worldview.
Science continues to illuminate aspects of the natural world in which consciousness and complexity seem, if not necessarily divinely guided, pretty damn hard to explain based on chance forces.