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 The 49ers regained the top spot in the NFC, the Seahawks dropped to the fifth seed and the Rams kept their hopes alive. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Rams step up, handle Seahawks to keep pace in NFC playoff race," 9 Dec. 2019 Their best chance of making the playoffs — albeit a long shot — is to catch the Vikings for the sixth seed (and second wild-card berth). Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Bears playoff picture: Here’s what needs to happen in Week 14 to keep those playoff hopes alive," 8 Dec. 2019 Pour the chocolate mixture over the bowl with the cookies, cranberries and sunflower seeds and mix all until well incorporated. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chocolate Bratwurst," 3 Dec. 2019 Add the chia seeds and mix on medium speed until combined. Nik Sharma, SFChronicle.com, "Brown Kitchen: Squash does double duty in savory and sweet recipes," 22 Nov. 2019 Unsaturated fats are predominantly found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fish. Vasanti Malik, sun-sentinel.com, "Is there a place for coconut oil in a healthy diet?," 19 Nov. 2019 Protein-rich foods include seafood, poultry, eggs, soy products, legumes, nuts, seeds, and meat, including beef. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Beef: Here's why it's leaner than ever and a source for several nutrients," 2 Nov. 2019 But growing global demand for nuts and seeds in recent decades has brought a slew of changes to the cashew industry. Melissa Howell, Quartz, "Cashew milk is saving animals—but it’s hurting humans," 29 Oct. 2019 Pigeons eat leftover seeds, and vultures circle around trying to pick on leftover fish at the docks. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Samba, Amazon fruits and fish at Brazil’s Ver-O-Peso market," 13 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the 100 butterfly, Berg finished in second place after she was seeded fourth coming into the event. Drew Cove, Twin Cities, "Visitation wins seventh consecutive Class A girls swimming state championship," 16 Nov. 2019 The show has a subliminal willingness to seed a constant doubt, to undermine age-old concepts of entitlement. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘The Crown’ is back with midlife crises, heavy heads and sterling performances," 14 Nov. 2019 Israel has encouraged the notion of a universal Arab hostility toward its native Jews in order to seed fear and division, and to extract loyalty from these Jews by portraying their countries of origin as fundamentally antagonistic. Harper's magazine, "Letters," 28 Oct. 2019 Wisconsin officials called a handful of national reporters to hear their views of Taylor and to seed the university’s arguments, which compare the junior’s statistics to those of other celebrated tailbacks, including Dayne and Herschel Walker. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "It’s Campaign Season in Football, With the Heisman Trophy on the Line," 24 Oct. 2019 The Joker, like a terrorist, is trying to seed confusion and chaos. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The Joker Has Always Been a Controversial Character. This Time, It’s Different," 8 Oct. 2019 The rankings, which are released each Tuesday, will be used to seed the playoffs at the end of the regular season. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Steele Canyon leads Division I football rankings," 8 Oct. 2019 The proposal called from the acquaintance to seed the venture with $225,000 in funds that would solely be used for the business, according to sentencing records. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Greenwich man who swindled $186,000 from acquaintance for Ukraine venture gets a year in federal prison," 26 Sep. 2019 But note that zero Russian women were seeded at the 2019 U.S. Open. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Instead of a Separate Competition, Let's Add Women to the Laver Cup," 25 Sep. 2019

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

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Seed.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/going%20to%20seed. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on seed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seed

Spanish Central: Translation of seed

Nglish: Translation of seed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about seed

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