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From Middle English apperenaperen, borrowed from Old French aparoir (French apparoirapparaître), from Latin appāreō (I appear), from ad (to) + pāreō (I come forth, I become visible), from Proto-Italic *pāzēō, from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂-s- (watch, see), s-present of *peh₂- (protect).

Alternative forms

  • appeare (obsolete)


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key)/əˈpɪə/
  • (General American) IPA(key)/əˈpɪɹ/[əˈpʰiɹ]
  • (Scotland) IPA(key)/əˈpiːɹ/


appear (third-person singular simple present appearspresent participle appearingsimple past and past participle appeared)

  1. (intransitive) To come or be in sight; to be in view; to become visible.
  2. (intransitive) To come before the public.
    A great writer appeared at that time.
  3. (intransitive) To stand in presence of some authority, tribunal, or superior person, to answer a charge, plead a cause, etc.; to present oneself as a party or advocate before a court, or as a person to be tried.
  4. (intransitive) To become visible to the apprehension of the mind; to be known as a subject of observation or comprehension, or as a thing proved; to be obvious or manifest.
  5. (intransitive, copulative) To seem; to have a certain semblance; to look.
    He appeared quite happy with the result.
  6. (transitive) To bring into view.

Usage notes

  • In the senses be obvious and seemappear is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs
  • Particularly in the senses be obviousseem, and bring into viewappear is a stative verb that rarely takes the continuous inflection.
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