\ˈsēm \

Definition of seam 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the joining of two pieces (as of cloth or leather) by sewing usually near the edge

b : the stitching used in such a joining

2 : the space between adjacent planks or strakes of a ship

3a : a line, groove, or ridge formed by the abutment of edges

b : a thin layer or stratum (as of rock) between distinctive layers also : a bed of valuable mineral and especially coal irrespective of thickness

c : a line left by a cut or wound also : wrinkle

4 : a weak or vulnerable area or gap found a seam in the zone defense

at the seams

: entirely, completely falling apart at the seams


seamed; seaming; seams

Definition of seam (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to join by sewing

b : to join as if by sewing (as by welding, riveting, or heat-sealing)

2 : to mark with lines suggesting seams

intransitive verb

: to become fissured or ridgy

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Other Words from seam


seamlike \ˈsēm-ˌlīk \ adjective


seamer noun

Synonyms for seam

Synonyms: Verb

groove, score, scribe

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Examples of seam in a Sentence


the seams of a dress the seams of a boat a rich seam of iron ore


in fencing circles it is a mark of honor to have one's face seamed with saber cuts
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The administration’s adoption of a zero-tolerance policy on border crossing, which includes separating children from parents, is bursting the seams of the American penal system. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Trump administration is running out of places to put immigrant detainees.," 13 June 2018 The flour tortilla was perfectly seared and the filling well distributed, the cheese oozing through the seam of the tortilla just so. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "It's not Louisville's best Mexican food, but grill near Churchill Downs is a solid option," 25 Apr. 2018 The script was no different Friday at Marriotts Ridge High School, as Delgado once again manifested his effective curveball while getting ahead in counts with a powerful two-seam fastball. Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Howard baseball hands Marriotts Ridge first loss," 7 Apr. 2018 In his spring debut Monday, Keuchel showed promising velocity but rusty command of his essential two-seam fastball in 1 2/3 innings. Hunter Atkins, San Antonio Express-News, "Verlander named opening day starter," 5 Mar. 2018 Bundy worked ahead of Bird, who saw most of Bundy’s arsenal — four-seam fastballs, changeups and sliders — while fouling off four two-strike pitches before tagging a hanging curveball off the right-field foul pole to put the Yankees up 5-0. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Bundy suffers second straight rocky start since DL return in Orioles' 9-0 loss to Yankees," 11 July 2018 The Astros moved Morton away from the sinker and instead instructed him to pair his curve with four-seam fastballs up in the strike zone. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Pitching Staff Threatening to Rewrite Baseball’s Record Books," 6 June 2018 Of the eight pitches that Neris needed to retire three Atlanta Braves hitters Monday night, six were four-seam fastballs and two were splitters. Scott Lauber,, "Hector Neris' slide from Phillies closer role began with overuse of his slider," 23 May 2018 The position has its share of agile, seam-busting receivers and more traditional dual-threat blockers and pass-catchers. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best tight ends in college football," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wore seamed stockings hooked to a suspender belt, tight pencil skirts and soft, brightly colored cashmere sweaters. Shirley Manson, New York Times, "Shirley Manson: The First Time I Cut Myself," 3 July 2018 Roll dough into a ball and place seam side down on a lightly floured work surface. Bon Appetit, "Ramadan Date Cookies," 21 May 2018 My goal was to achieve this within one year...seamed reasonable to me! Leada Gore,, "How to get free McDonald's fries today," 20 Apr. 2018 Wrap log around can, seam side down, gently pulling from center of log to stretch around. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "King Cake," 12 Jan. 2018 Place rollups seam side down in an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Atlanta Life, ajc, "7 Day Menu Planner," 3 Nov. 2017 Many of the newest iterations are seamed to accentuate the body, providing a womanly shapeliness in place of utilitarian boxiness. Alev Aktar, WSJ, "Is a $5,930 Puffer Coat Sexier Than a $200 One?," 28 Sep. 2017 The north Siberian peninsula, whose yellowish soil is seamed with gold and copper and a range of precious earths, was populated once by the Gulag of the Stalin years. WSJ, "Five Best: Catherine Merridale," 4 Aug. 2017 Over the course of the class, participants learn to cast on, the knit and purl stitches, how to bind off and seam up a cowl. Lake County News-Sun, "Calendar," 18 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seam.' 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 seam


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


1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for seam


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

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Statistics for seam

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for seam

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

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More Definitions for seam



English Language Learners Definition of seam

: a line where two pieces of cloth or other material are sewn together

: a line where two pieces of wood, metal, dough, etc., are joined together

: a layer of coal, rock, etc., that is between two other layers of rock underground


\ˈsēm \

Kids Definition of seam

1 : the fold, line, or groove made by sewing together or joining two edges or two pieces of material

2 : a layer in the ground of a mineral or metal

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