1 of 2


: the joining of two pieces (as of cloth or leather) by sewing usually near the edge
: the stitching used in such a joining
: the space between adjacent planks or strakes of a ship
: a line, groove, or ridge formed by the abutment of edges
: a thin layer or stratum (as of rock) between distinctive layers
also : a bed of valuable mineral and especially coal irrespective of thickness
: a line left by a cut or wound
also : wrinkle
: a weak or vulnerable area or gap
found a seam in the zone defense
seamlike adjective


2 of 2


seamed; seaming; seams

transitive verb

: to join by sewing
: to join as if by sewing (as by welding, riveting, or heat-sealing)
: to mark with lines suggesting seams

intransitive verb

: to become fissured or ridgy
seamer noun
at the seams
: entirely, completely
falling apart at the seams

Examples of seam in a Sentence

Noun the seams of a dress the seams of a boat a rich seam of iron ore Verb in fencing circles it is a mark of honor to have one's face seamed with saber cuts
Recent Examples on the Web
While the pair initially put on a united front, their relationship was falling apart at the seams. Emily Weaver, Peoplemag, 11 Sep. 2023 Building an effective packing list is no small feat, but Amazon is currently bursting at the seams with fall-ready sweaters, dresses, lightweight pants, and more to keep you cozy and well-dressed from the airport runway to the city streets without wasting your travel budget on clothes. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2023 The trousers look like they’re hewn from Ligurian slate but wear as light as birdsong; the French seams on the polo are sewn so tightly as to be nearly invisible, and the fit and drape have the aestheticizing effect of an Austrian spa vacation. Josh Condon, Robb Report, 3 Sep. 2023 There are pockets, by the way, hidden alongside the seams. Maverick Li, Men's Health, 31 Aug. 2023 Much of the cobalt in Congo is mined by hand: Workers scour the surface level seams with picks, shovels, and lengths of rebar, sometimes tunneling by hand 60 feet or more into the earth in pursuit of a vein of ore. Roger Peet, The New Republic, 30 Aug. 2023 Never had a tear or seam break despite daily trail use. Caroline Lubinsky, Men's Health, 16 Aug. 2023 Every pinstripe’s intersection with a logo, number, or seam provides a data point that helps to locate photo matches of the players and their gamers. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 15 Aug. 2023 It would be constructed, with the help of architecture firm Shubin Donaldson, from hard-wearing materials, most notably fire-resistant standing seam metal cladding on the exterior. Tessa Watson, ELLE Decor, 14 Aug. 2023
There was no native population, and those who had successfully navigated the treacherous journey there found fjords teeming with baleen whales and mountains seamed with coal. Taymour Soomro Scott Conarroe, New York Times, 10 May 2023 Roll up and place, seam sidea down, in prepared pan. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 2 May 2023 Selectors, instead, stuck with aging David Warner, who has been in a form rut stretching several years and sports a mediocre record on the seaming wickets of the U.K, and Matthew Renshaw and Marcus Harris - batters with middling Test returns. Tristan Lavalette, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 Pitching is a brotherhood; teammates and even opponents routinely compare grips and share tips on finger pressure, seam orientation and so on. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 12 Apr. 2023 These oxfords use a weatherproof construction with waterproof materials and seam sealing to keep your feet dry. Maverick Li, Men's Health, 19 Jan. 2023 Put on cookie sheet seam down. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, 23 Jan. 2018 Gently wrap the dough roll around the can, seam side down, and pinch the ends well. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, 20 Feb. 2023 Packs made out of waxed canvas can often be treated to a waterproof rating as well with a spray or seam sealer. Lauren Breedlove, Travel + Leisure, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English seem, from Old English sēam; akin to Old English sīwian to sew — more at sew

First Known Use


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


1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of seam was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near seam

Cite this Entry

“Seam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: the fold, line, or groove made by sewing together or joining two edges or two pieces
the seams of a dress
the seams of a boat
: a raised or sunken line : groove, furrow, wrinkle
: a layer (as of rock) between clearly different layers
coal seams


2 of 2 verb
: to join with a seam
: to mark with a line, scar, or wrinkle
creeks seam the valley
a face seamed with age

More from Merriam-Webster on seam

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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