bad seed


chiefly US
: a person who is dishonest, evil, or unprincipled by nature : an innately bad person
"Dad wants my brother to come back and live with us again, but Lonna says no way, José, he's a bad seed. … "Carl Hiaasen

Examples of bad seed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Brooklyn Melody James has sown some bad seeds in life. Lynnette Nicholas, Essence, 22 Jan. 2024 Not a bad seed in the bunch. Dallas News, 3 May 2022 By comparison to Aegon’s apathy, Joffrey was clearly power-hungry and reveled in being murderous and sadistic — a seemingly bad seed from the outset. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Oct. 2022 Despite making it to the league championship for the fifth straight year, the Astros are still MLB’s bad seed following 2019’s cheating scandal. Chris Morris, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2021 The bad seeds at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, are more elusive. Andy Kessler, WSJ, 15 July 2018 Goode warned me before the session that this workshop is a sacred space, where young people don’t have to feel like bad seeds or criminals, or be treated like a spectacle. Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times, 12 Apr. 2019 Still, some egg donation agencies caution that a few bad seeds have ruined it for everyone, and that many donors do have a positive experience. Andrea Stanley, Redbook, 19 Oct. 2017 Just for seeming like a bad seed, you could suddenly be stopped, arrested, and jailed by a police officer. Lucy Nicholson, Marie Claire, 17 Aug. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bad seed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bad seed was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near bad seed

Cite this Entry

“Bad seed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!