AskDefine | Define appear

Dictionary Definition



1 give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect; "She seems to be sleeping"; "This appears to be a very difficult problem"; "This project looks fishy"; "They appeared like people who had not eaten or slept for a long time" [syn: look, seem]
2 come into sight or view; "He suddenly appeared at the wedding"; "A new star appeared on the horizon" [ant: disappear]
3 be issued or published; "Did your latest book appear yet?"; "The new Woody Allen film hasn't come out yet" [syn: come out]
4 seem to be true, probable, or apparent; "It seems that he is very gifted"; "It appears that the weather in California is very bad" [syn: seem]
5 come into being or existence, or appear on the scene; "Then the computer came along and changed our lives"; "Homo sapiens appeared millions of years ago" [syn: come along] [ant: vanish]
6 appear as a character on stage or appear in a play, etc.; "Gielgud appears briefly in this movie"; "She appeared in `Hamlet' on the London stage"
7 present oneself formally, as before a (judicial) authority; "He had to appear in court last month"; "She appeared on several charges of theft"

User Contributed Dictionary



Middle English apperen, aperen, Old French aparoir (French apparoir), from Latin apparēre "to appear", from ad "to" + parēre, parrere "come forth, to be visible"; probably from the same root as parire "to produce". Compare with Apparent, Parent, Peer, v.i.



  1. To come or be in sight; to be in view; to become visible.
    And God ... said, Let ... the dry land appear. --Gen. i. 9.
  2. To come before the public; as, a great writer appeared at that time.
  3. To stand in presence of some authority, tribunal, or superior person, to answer a charge, plead a cause, or the like; to present one's self as a party or advocate before a court, or as a person to be tried.
    We must all appear before the judgment seat. --Cor. v. 10.
    One ruffian escaped because no prosecutor dared to appear. --Macaulay.
  4. 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.
    It doth not yet appear what we shall be. --1 John iii. 2.
    Of their vain contest appeared no end. --Milton.
  5. To seem; to have a certain semblance; to look.
    They disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. --Matt. vi. 16.

Usage notes




To come or be in sight; to be in view; to become visible
To come before the public
  • Czech: objevit se
  • German: erscheinen, auftauchen
  • Hebrew:
  • Spanish: aparecer
To stand in presence of some authority, tribunal, or superior person, to answer a charge, plead a cause, or the like
  • German: erscheinen, auftreten
  • Portuguese: comparecer
  • Spanish: comparecer
To become visible to the apprehension of the mind
To seem; to have a certain semblance; to look
  • Finnish: näyttää
  • German: erscheinen, aussehen
  • Hebrew:
  • Spanish: parecer
Translations to be checked

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

act, act as foil, appear like, approach, arise, arrive, assister, attend, barnstorm, be at, be evident, be noticeable, be present at, be revealed, be seen, be visible, become known, become manifest, become visible, break forth, catch, chance, come, come along, come forth, come forward, come in sight, come into being, come into existence, come on, come out, come to, come to hand, come to light, come up, crop out, crop up, do, draw on, emanate, emerge, emote, emotionalize, enter, fade in, feel, figure, get out, get top billing, glare, go to, happen, have no secrets, heave in sight, issue, issue forth, leak out, look, look forth, look like, look on, loom, loom large, manifest itself, materialize, meet the gaze, mime, occur, open up, out, outcrop, pantomime, patter, peep out, perform, play, play the lead, playact, pop up, present itself, rear its head, register, rise, see, see the light, seem, seem like, seem to be, shine out, shine through, show, show its colors, show its face, show through, show up, sit in, sketch, sound, sound like, speak out, speak up, spring, spring up, stand forth, stand out, stand revealed, star, steal the show, stooge, stream forth, strike the eye, surface, take a stand, take in, transpire, tread the boards, troupe, turn up, upstage, vise, visit, watch, witness
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