Definition of “appear” - English Dictionary

“appear” in British English

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appearverb

uk /əˈpɪər/ us /əˈpɪr/

appear verb (BE PRESENT)

B1 [ I ] to start to be seen or to be present:

He suddenly appeared in the doorway.
We'd been in the house a month when dark stains started appearing on the wall.
His name appears in the film credits for lighting.

[ I ] If you appear in court, you are there officially because you are involved in a trial:

Both women will be appearing before magistrates later this week.

More examples

  • He will appear before the magistrates tomorrow.
  • Comets appear at predictable times.
  • Robins mostly appear in the winter and are commonly pictured on Christmas cards.
  • Two weeks after we'd planted the seeds, little green shoots started to appear.
  • His colleagues became suspicious when he did not appear at work, since he was always punctual.

appear verb (SEEM)

B1 [ L or I, not continuous ] to seem:

You've got to appear (to be) calm in an interview even if you're terrified underneath.
To people who don't know him he probably appears (to be) rather unfriendly.
Things aren't always what they appear to be.
[ + to infinitive ] She appears to actually like the man, which I find incredible.
There appears to be some mistake.
[ + (that) ] It appears (that) she left the party alone.
It appears to me (that) (= I think that) we need to make some changes.
formal It would appear (that) (= it seems that) nobody on board the aircraft actually had a licence to fly it.
[ + adv/prep ] It appears as if/as though I was wrong.
Everything was not as it appeared - secret deals had been done.
I know how it must appear, but it's not really as bad as it looks.
"Has he left?" "It appears not/so."
[ after so ] "I think we're late." "So it appears."

More examples

  • I hope I didn't appear rude - it's just that I was in such a hurry.
  • She likes to appear as if she knows all about the latest films and art exhibitions, but it's all a pose .
  • The most important rule in life is always to appear confident.
  • Are you as unconcerned about the situation as you appear?
  • To a casual observer, everything might appear normal.

appear verb (PERFORM)

B1 [ I usually + adv/prep ] to perform publicly in a play, film, or show:

She will be appearing in the latest adaptation of "Bleak House".
She appears briefly in the new Bond film.

More examples

  • Most of the bands that appear on the show just mime to a recording of their songs.
  • She got eight million dollars for appearing in that movie.
  • They're appearing twice nightly at the Playhouse Theatre.
  • She loves appearing on television and is no shrinking violet when it comes to expressing her views.
  • She was appearing in concert at Carnegie Hall.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “appear” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“appear” in American English

See all translations

appearverb

us /əˈpɪər/

appear verb (BE PRESENT)

[ I ] to become noticeable or to be present:

At this point the ferry boat suddenly appeared.
Her picture appeared on the front page of the newspaper.
We have to appear in court next week.

[ I ] To appear is also to be made available:

The interview with the president will appear next Sunday.

appear verb (SEEM)

to seem:

[ L ] The governor appeared confident of victory on the eve of the election.
[ + (that) clause ] It appears (that) she had asked someone to drive her home from the party.
[ + to infinitive ] There appears to be some mistake.

appear verb (PERFORM)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to perform publicly in a play, movie, dance, or other similar event:

He is currently appearing in two movies.

(Definition of “appear” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)