Definition of


  1. (verb, motion) move in large numbers
    beggars pullulated in the plaza
  2. (verb, stative) be teeming, be abuzz
    The plaza is teeming with undercover policemen
    her mind pullulated with worries

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Teem

pour, pullulate, stream, swarm

Alternate forms of Teem

Hyponyms: crawl, pour out, spill out, spill over

Hypernyms: buzz, crowd, crowd together, hum, seethe

Origin of the word Teem

  1. "abound, swarm," O.E. teman (Mercian), tieman (W.Saxon) "give birth to, produce," from P.Gmc. *taumijanan, from PIE *deuk- "to lead" (see duke). Related to team in its now-obsolete O.E. sense of "family, brood of young animals." The meaning "be fertile, abound, swarm" is first recorded 1593; teeming in this sense is from 1715. more
  2. "to flow copiously," c.1300, from O.N. toema "to empty," from tomr "empty," cognate with O.E. tom "empty." The original notion is of "to empty a vessel," thus "to pour out." more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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