- abounding or swarming with something, as with people: We elbowed our way through the teeming station.
- prolific or fertile.
- falling in torrents: a teeming rain.
verb (used without object)
- to abound or swarm; be prolific or fertile (usually followed by with).
- Obsolete. to be or become pregnant; bring forth young.
verb (used with object)
- Obsolete. to produce (offspring).
verb (used with or without object)
- to empty or pour out; discharge.
- (intr usually foll by with) to be prolific or abundant (in); abound (in)
- obsolete to bring forth (young)
- (intr; often foll by down or with rain) to pour in torrentsit’s teeming down
- (tr) to pour or empty out
adj.“swarming,” 1715, present participle adjective from teem (v.1). v.1“abound, swarm,” Old English teman (Mercian), tieman (West Saxon) “give birth to, produce,” from Proto-Germanic *taumijanan, from PIE *deuk- “to lead” (see duke (n.)). Related to team in its now-obsolete Old English sense of “family, brood of young animals.” The meaning “be fertile, abound, swarm” is first recorded 1590s. Related: Teemed; teeming. v.2“to flow copiously,” c.1300, from Old Norse toema “to empty,” from tomr “empty,” cognate with Old English tom “empty.” The original notion is of “to empty a vessel,” thus “to pour out.” Related: Teemed; teeming.