seem(redirected from seems)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
seem like (something)
To appear to be or give the impression of being a particular kind of person or thing. A: "Have you met Tom's new boyfriend?" B: "Yeah, he seems like a nice guy." Though it seemed like a good idea at the time, the direction we pursued with the company nearly bankrupted us.
things are seldom as they seem
Situations are often very different from the way that they appear at first glance. Social media paints this rosy picture that everyone else's lives are perfect, but things are seldom as they seem. I don't see any reason for this merger to be especially difficult. Things are seldom as they seem, though, so I suggest we still proceed with as much prudence and care as possible.
things are seldom what they seem
Situations are often very different from the way that they appear at first glance. Social media paints this rosy picture that everyone else's lives are perfect, but things are seldom what they seem. I don't see any reason for this merger to be especially difficult. Things are seldom what they seem, though, so I suggest we still proceed with as much prudence and care as possible.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
*pressed for timeand *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.
*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.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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]
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
n. a wild guess; an attempt at something that has little chance of succeeding. You shouldn’t expect a long shot to pay off.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
pressed for time
In a hurry; under time pressure.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.