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

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

out of place

not comfortable or suitable for a particular situation He is worried about his job and feels out of place in a large organization. The tree-lined streets of this city wouldn't be out of place in a small town.
See also: of, out, place

putty in your hands

willing to do anything you want As soon as Jones realized he could get in trouble if they reported him, he became putty in their hands.
See also: hand, putty

pressed for time

feeling that you have to hurry and are late I was pressed for time to finish my business and catch my plane.
See also: press, time

make something seem like a picnic

if a difficult experience makes another experience seem like a picnic, it makes it seem very easy because it is much more difficult University makes school seem like a picnic.
See also: like, make, picnic, seem

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

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 classic literature ?
The gray of the morning has passed, and the sun is high over the distant horizon, which seems jagged, whether with trees or hills I know not, for it is so far off that big things and little are mixed.
There are two of the English who I suppose are very cultivated too; but it doesn't seem as if I could enter into theirs so easily, though I try all I can.
She was ever so much looked at; but she didn't seem to notice it, until at last I couldn't help calling attention to it.
I have asked her a great deal about it; but she doesn't seem able to give me much information.
But to men who do not admit that Russia was formed by the will of one man, Peter I, or that the French Empire was formed and the war with Russia begun by the will of one man, Napoleon, that argument seems not merely untrue and irrational, but contrary to all human reality.
None of these things seem to me to matter," she said.
In themselves they don't seem to me to matter; if they hurt you, of course they matter," she corrected herself scrupulously.
A large faith he might seem to have in what is called "natural optimism," the beauty and benignity of nature, if let alone, in her mechanical round of changes with man and beast and flower.
Yet there is a clear note of originality (so it seems to us) in the peculiar charm of his strictly personal compositions; and, generally, in such touches as he gives us of the soul, the life, of the [114] nineteenth century.
Always I seem to be pulled two different ways, to be struggling to see things from two different points of view.
He seems to be a great deal in your thoughts lately, Penelope.
I seem to have been busy doing all sorts of things.
We've a small army looking for the fellow, but it does seem as though he had disappeared off the face of the earth.
Not the slightest, but yet it seems to me a shocking thing that a mere joke should lead to such consequences.
It seems, however, that I have unconsciously stumbled upon the truth.