seed

noun
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce seed (audio) \
plural seed or seeds

Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(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 (such 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
3 : a source of development or growth : germ sowed the seeds of discord
4 : something (such as a tiny particle or a bubble in glass) that resembles a seed in shape or size
5 : a competitor who has been seeded in a tournament the top seed
go to seed or run to seed
1 : to develop seed

seed

verb
seeded; seeding; seeds

Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to bear or shed seed
2 : to sow seed : plant

transitive verb

1a : to plant seeds in : sow seed a lawn with grass
b : to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
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
3 : to extract the seeds from (fruit)
4a : 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

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Other Words from seed

Noun

seed adjective
seeded \ ˈsē-​dəd How to pronounce seeded (audio) \ adjective
seedless \ ˈsēd-​ləs How to pronounce seedless (audio) \ adjective
seedlike \ ˈsēd-​ˌlīk How to pronounce seedlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for seed

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Do you cede or seed control?

Verb

Cede means "to yield or grant typically by treaty." Most of the verb senses of seed are concerned with planting seeds (either literal, as of plants, or figuratively, as of ideas). However, the word may also be used to mean "to schedule (tournament players or teams) so that superior ones will not meet in early rounds." If you relinquish or yield something you are ceding it, and if you are organizing the participants in a tournament you are seeding them.

Examples of seed in a Sentence

Noun a packet of sunflower seeds He planted the seeds three inches apart. She raked the grass seed into the soil. The top seed won the tournament. Our team is the number one seed. She is ranked as the third seed. Verb We seeded the field with corn. These plants will seed late in the fall. After you wash and seed the peppers you can chop them.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here's what Free Press columnist Shawn Windsor wrote in January, after the Titans demolished the No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens, led by NFL MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Titans' Mike Vrabel is the genius Detroit Lions thought they had in Matt Patricia," 19 Oct. 2020 Barberton upset the host No. 4 seed in a D-II, Region 6 contest. cleveland, "Check out cleveland.com high school football Top 25 roundup for Friday, Oct. 16, 2020," 17 Oct. 2020 The 19-year-old became the first player from Poland to win a grand slam singles title after beating No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin, 6-4 6-1. Ben Church And Christina Macfarlane, CNN, "How a sports psychologist helped teenager Iga Swiatek win her first tennis grand slam," 13 Oct. 2020 The Rams were 21-9 last season and earned the No. 3 seed for the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which was canceled due to the pandemic. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: UConn’s Tyrese Martin left a good situation at Rhode Island for a better one in Storrs," 11 Oct. 2020 The 26-year-old, teaming with Alexa Guarachi of Chile as the No. 14-seeded team, fell 6-4, 7-5 to No. 2 seed Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic on Sunday in Paris. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Former Arizona State tennis player finishes second in French Open doubles," 11 Oct. 2020 In the women’s singles tournament, No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin reached her first French Open semifinal with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory over Danielle Collins, her unseeded American compatriot. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Djokovic and Kenin Push Through to French Open Semifinals," 7 Oct. 2020 Nadal, the No. 2 seed, will take a 9-1 head-to-head edge against Schwartzman into their meeting in Friday’s semifinals. Howard Fendrich, SFChronicle.com, "After midnight: Rafael Nadal beats Jannik Sinner for 13th French semifinal," 6 Oct. 2020 Thiem, runner-up to the King of Clay the past two years, plays No. 12 seed Diego Schwartzman, a 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 winner against Lorenzo Sonego. John Leicester, orlandosentinel.com, "Years after anorexia, Italy’s Martina Trevisan reaches French Open quarterfinals," 4 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For example, the coronavirus is particularly adept at dodging the body’s early immune alarms, buying valuable time to seed an infection. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, "Coronavirus Reinfections Are Real but Very, Very Rare," 13 Oct. 2020 His influence helped seed the current farm-to-table movement and the popularity of farmers’ markets. Heller Mcalpin, The Christian Science Monitor, "His appetite was legendary, his influence on food was lasting," 13 Oct. 2020 Both games could be preludes to regional playoff rematches, as coaches are voting this week through Wednesday to seed teams. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Dress rehearsals conclude shortened regular season: Week 6 high school football preview," 30 Sep. 2020 Others could have to seed up to 27 teams in their regions. Matt Goul, cleveland, "OHSAA football regional playoff seeding primer," 28 Sep. 2020 The World Health Organization acknowledged the virus may be airborne in July and that these particles may seed superspreader events in closed spaces like restaurants and workplaces. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "How a Bus Ride Turned Into a Coronavirus Superspreader Event," 1 Sep. 2020 Colonial-era travel spread invasive species across the planet; space-era travel could seed earthlings all over the solar system. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "The Language of Space Exploration Is Stuck in the 1800s," 17 Sep. 2020 Ansari’s hope is that the Covid prize will seed a similar investment boom to fight a virus that has infected more than 27.3 million people and killed more than 892,000 worldwide. Olivia Raimonde, Bloomberg.com, "A $5 Million Prize Spurs Competition for Covid-19 Rapid Test," 8 Sep. 2020 Seattle’s many international connections to Asia likely meant the virus was able to widely seed itself in the region before the true extent of the public health crisis was identified. oregonlive, "6 months of COVID-19: Why Oregon is faring better than neighbors but could be ‘next Idaho, California or Washington’," 25 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of seed

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2

History and Etymology for seed

Noun

Middle English, from Old English sǣd; akin to Old High German sāt seed, Old English sāwan to sow — more at sow

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Time Traveler for seed

Time Traveler

The first known use of seed was before the 12th century

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Statistics for seed

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seed. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for seed

seed

noun
How to pronounce seed (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

seed

verb

English Language Learners Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to plant (an area of ground) with seeds
of a plant : to produce seeds
: to remove (seeds) from a fruit or vegetable

seed

noun
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce seed (audio) \

Kids Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a tiny developing plant that is enclosed in a protective coat usually along with a supply of food and that is able to develop under suitable conditions into a plant like the one that produced it
2 : a small structure (as a spore or a tiny dry fruit) other than a true seed by which a plant reproduces itself
3 : the descendants of one individual
4 : a source of development or growth : germ The comment planted a seed of doubt in my mind.

Other Words from seed

seeded \ ˈsē-​dəd \ adjective
seedless \ ˈsēd-​ləs \ adjective

seed

verb
seeded; seeding

Kids Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sow entry 2 sense 2, plant Farmers seed the fields with wheat.
2 : to produce or shed seeds The plant seeds early.
3 : to take the seeds out of You have to wash and seed the peppers.

seed

noun
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce seed (audio) \
plural seed or seeds

Medical Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 — see seed tick
2 : a small usually glass and gold or platinum capsule used as a container for a radioactive substance (as radium or radon) to be applied usually interstitially in the treatment of cancer implantation of radon seeds for bladder cancer

Medical Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 3)

: to bear or shed seed

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
3 : to supply with nuclei (as of crystallization or condensation)

Medical Definition of seed (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : selected or used to produce a new crop or stock seed virus
2 : left or saved for breeding a seed population

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