Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Deem


The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is deem. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Deem means “to come to think or judge,” “to consider,” or “to have an opinion.”

// The covered bridge was closed to automobile traffic for the winter because town officials deemed it a hazard to motorists.

DEEM in Context

“As much as Auburn’s Planning Board and mayor would like to wave a magic scepter over swaths of city property and deem them a new zone, it can’t be done that easily.” — Pam Larouche, The Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine), 25 Feb. 2022

Did You Know?

Originally, deem meant “to legally condemn.” The word is still frequently used in contexts pertaining to the law but with the general meaning “to judge” or “to decide after inquiry and deliberation,” as in “The act was deemed unlawful” or “The defendant is deemed to have agreed to the contract.” Outside of the law, deem usually means simply “to consider.”

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