Etymology
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seemly (adj.)

c. 1200, semlich, "of pleasing or good appearance," also "proper, tasteful, decorous; good for a purpose," from Old Norse soemiligr "becoming, honorable," from soemr (see seem). Related: Seemliness. Old Norse also had soemleitr "fine to look at."

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unseemly (adj.)

c. 1300, "visually unpleasing, unattractive, ugly;" mid-14c., "unfitting, indecent, inappropriate," from un- (1) "not" + seemly (adj.). Similar formation in Old Norse usoemiligr. Related: Unseemliness.

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seem (v.)

late 12c., "to be fitting, be appropriate, be suitable;" c. 1200, "to appear to be, have or present the appearance of being;" from Old Norse soema "to honor; to put up with; to conform to (the world, etc.)," verb derived from adjective soemr "fitting," from Proto-Germanic *somiz (source also of Old English som "agreement, reconciliation," seman "to conciliate," source of Middle English semen "to settle a dispute," literally "to make one;" Old Danish söme "to be proper or seemly"), from PIE *somi-, suffixed form of root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with."

The sense of "be fitting, be appropriate" in English is the etymological one, but it is obsolete except in derived seemly, unseemly. Related: Seemed; seeming.

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*sem- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "one; as one, together with."

It forms all or part of: anomalous; anomaly; assemble; assimilate; ensemble; facsimile; fulsome; hamadryad; haplo-; haploid; hendeca-; hendiadys; henotheism; hetero-; heterodox; heterosexual; homeo-; homeopathy; homeostasis; homily; homo- (1) "same, the same, equal, like;" homogenous; homoiousian; homologous; homonym; homophone; homosexual; hyphen; resemble; same; samizdat; samovar; samsara; sangha; Sanskrit; seem; seemly; semper-; sempiternal; similar; simple; simplex; simplicity; simulacrum; simulate; simulation; simultaneous; single; singlet; singular; some; -some (1); -some (2); verisimilitude.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit sam "together," samah "even, level, similar, identical;" Avestan hama "similar, the same;" Greek hama "together with, at the same time," homos "one and the same," homios "like, resembling," homalos "even;" Latin similis "like;" Old Irish samail "likeness;" Old Church Slavonic samu "himself."

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beseem (v.)
early 13c., "to seem; to be seemly," from be- + seem (v.). Related: Beseemed; beseeming.
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indecorous (adj.)
1680s, "in bad taste," from Latin indecorus "unbecoming, unseemly, unsightly; disgraceful," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + decorus "becoming, fitting, seemly, proper" (see decorous). Related: Indecorously; indecorousness (1670s).
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mannerly (adj.)

"seemly, modest," late 14c. (a sense now obsolete); "well-mannered, polite, showing good manners," 1520s; from manner (n.) + -ly (1). As an adverb, "in accord with custom; becomingly" (mid-14c.); later "in accord with good manners" (c. 1400). Related: Mannerliness.

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decorous (adj.)

1660s, "suitable, appropriate;" 1670s, "characterized by or notable for decorum, formally polite and proper," from Latin decorus "becoming, seemly, fitting, proper," from decus (genitive decoris) "an ornament," "to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept" (on the notion of "to add grace"). Related: Decorously; decorousness.

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docility (n.)

1550s, "readiness or aptness to learn," from French docilité (15c.), from Latin docilitatem (nominative docilitas) "teachableness," from docilis "easily taught," from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept." Meaning "submissiveness to management" is from c. 1600.

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docent (adj.)

"teaching," 1630s, from Latin docentem (nominative docens), present participle of docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept."

As a noun, "lecturer or teacher (usually a post-graduate student) in a college, not on staff but permitted to teach," by 1880, from German.

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