Meaning of APPEAR in English


ap ‧ pear S2 W1 /əˈpɪə $ əˈpɪr/ BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ appear ≠ ↑ disappear , ↑ reappear ; noun : ↑ appearance ≠ ↑ disappearance , ↑ reappearance ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: aparoir , from Latin apparere , from ad- 'to' + parere 'to show yourself' ]

1 . SEEM [linking verb, not in progressive] used to say how something seems, especially from what you know about it or from what you can see

appear to be something

Police say there appear to be signs of a break-in.

appear to do something

The survey appears to contradict motor industry claims.

it appears (that)

It appears that all the files have been deleted.

Police have found what appear to be human remains.

He tried to make it appear that she had committed suicide.

It may be less useful than it appears at first.

so it would appear (=used to say that something seems likely to be true, although you are not completely sure)

2 . GIVE IMPRESSION [linking verb, not in progressive] used to say that someone or something seems to have a particular quality or feeling:

He tried hard to appear calm.

I don’t want to appear rude.

The right colours can make a small room appear much bigger.

3 . START TO BE SEEN [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to start to be seen, to arrive, or to exist in a place, especially suddenly:

Two faces appeared at our window.

A man suddenly appeared from behind a tree.

Small cracks appeared in the wall.

It was nearly an hour before Sweeney appeared in the pub.

appear from nowhere/out of nowhere (=appear suddenly and unexpectedly)

The car seemed to appear from nowhere.

4 . FILM/TV PROGRAMME ETC [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to take part in a film, play, concert, television programme etc

appear in a film/play

She has already appeared in a number of films.

appear on television/stage

He appeared on national television to deny the claims.

appear at a theatre etc

5 . BOOK/NEWSPAPER ETC [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to be written or shown on a list, in a book or newspaper, in a document etc:

The story appeared in all the national newspapers.

Some of the material used has appeared in print before (=has been published) .

6 . AVAILABLE/KNOWN [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to become widely available or known about:

The new range will be appearing in shops in the autumn.

New courses are appearing every year.

7 . LAW COURT/MEETING [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to go to a law court or other official meeting to give information, answer questions etc:

The three men are due to appear in court tomorrow.

appear before a court/judge/committee etc

She appeared before Colchester magistrates charged with attempted murder.

appear for somebody/on behalf of somebody (=to be the legal representative for someone)

Sir Nicholas Gammon QC appeared on behalf of the defendant.

• • •


▪ appear to start to be seen, especially suddenly:

A few small white clouds appeared on the horizon.

▪ pop up to appear very suddenly:

A woman’s face popped up from the other side of the fence.

▪ become visible to gradually start to be able to be seen:

The shape of the baby’s head gradually became visible on the screen.

▪ come into view if something comes into view, you start to see it as you move closer to it, or it gets closer to you:

The white cliffs of Dover came into view.

▪ come out if the sun, moon, or the stars come out, they suddenly appear:

The sun came out from behind a cloud.

▪ loom/loom up if a large frightening object or person looms, they appear suddenly:

The dark shape of the castle loomed up out of the mist.


The man’s face suddenly loomed over him.

▪ resurface to appear again after being lost or missing:

The girl’s father has resurfaced after six years of no contact.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.