noun \ˈsēd\

: a small object produced by a plant from which a new plant can grow

: the beginning of something which continues to develop or grow

: a player or team that is ranked as one of the best in a competition (such as a tennis tournament) in order to be sure that the best players or teams do not play against each other in the early part of the competition

plural seed or seeds

Full Definition of SEED

a (1) :  the grains or ripened ovules of plants used for sowing (2) :  the fertilized ripened ovule of a flowering plant containing an embryo and capable normally of germination to produce a new plant; broadly :  a propagative plant structure (as a spore or small dry fruit)
b :  a propagative animal structure:
(1) :  milt, semen (2) :  a small egg (as of an insect) (3) :  a developmental form of a lower animal suitable for transplanting; specifically :  spat
c :  the condition or stage of bearing seed <in seed>
:  progeny
:  a source of development or growth :  germ <sowed the seeds of discord>
:  something (as a tiny particle or a bubble in glass) that resembles a seed in shape or size
:  a competitor who has been seeded in a tournament <the top seed>
seed adjective
seed·ed \ˈsē-dəd\ adjective
seed·less \ˈsēd-ləs\ adjective
seed·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective
go to seed or run to seed
:  to develop seed

Examples of SEED

  1. a packet of sunflower seeds
  2. He planted the seeds three inches apart.
  3. She raked the grass seed into the soil.
  4. The top seed won the tournament.
  5. Our team is the number one seed.
  6. She is ranked as the third seed.

Origin of SEED

Middle English, from Old English ̄d; akin to Old High German sāt seed, Old English sāwan to sow — more at sow
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Genetics Terms

chimera, hermaphrodite, plasticity



: to plant (an area of ground) with seeds

of a plant : to produce seeds

: to remove (seeds) from a fruit or vegetable

Full Definition of SEED

intransitive verb
:  to bear or shed seed
:  to sow seed :  plant
transitive verb
a :  to plant seeds in :  sow <seed a lawn with grass>
b :  to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
c :  inoculate
d :  to supply with nuclei (as of crystallization or condensation); especially :  to treat (a cloud) with solid particles to convert water droplets into ice crystals in an attempt to produce precipitation
e :  to cover or permeate by or as if by scattering something <seeded [the] sea-lanes with thousands of magnetic mines — Otto Friedrich>
:  plant 1a
:  to extract the seeds from (as raisins)
a :  to schedule (tournament players or teams) so that superior ones will not meet in early rounds
b :  to rank (a contestant) relative to others in a tournament on the basis of previous record <the top-seeded tennis star>

Examples of SEED

  1. We seeded the field with corn.
  2. These plants will seed late in the fall.
  3. After you wash and seed the peppers you can chop them.

First Known Use of SEED

14th century

Related to SEED


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Reproductive structure in plants that consists of a plant embryo, usually accompanied by a supply of food (endosperm, which is produced during fertilization) and enclosed in a protective coat. Seed embryos contain one or more cotyledons. In typical flowering plants, seed production follows pollination and fertilization. As seeds mature, the ovary that enclosed the ovules develops into a fruit containing the seeds. Most seeds are small, weighing less than a gram; the smallest contain no food reserve. At the opposite extreme, the seed of the double coconut palm may weigh up to about 60 lb (27 kg). Seeds are highly adapted to transportation by animals, wind, and water. When circumstances are favorable, water and oxygen penetrate the seed coat, and the new plant begins to grow (see germination). The longevity of seeds varies widely: some remain viable for only about a week; others have been known to germinate after hundreds or even thousands of years.


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