\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

Check to make sure your toes don’t hit the end of the boot on an incline, and that there’s no pinching in the forefoot or uncomfortable bumps or seams. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Hiking Boots for Women, Reviewed by Experts," 4 Dec. 2018 The tent is also completely waterproof and seam-sealed, so there’s no need for an additional rainfly. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Versatile travel trailer camps four and hauls gear for $10K," 29 Nov. 2018 Knead gently until smooth, shaping it into a large ball with all the seams on the bottom. Sheryl Julian,, "Recipe: Irish cooks came to this country knowing how to make brown bread with their eyes closed," 28 June 2018 To create an even bead, lay parallel strips of painter’s tape above and below the entire length of the tub seam. Daniel Bortz, sacbee, "Four home-improvement jobs you can knock out," 15 June 2018 Both top and bottom featured coordinating seams, while the pants also had an detailed four-button closure. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Wore Denim on Denim," 20 Oct. 2018 The seams between the glass and the aluminum rail are tight, and the corners of the screens are curved, as are both sides of the glass blending into the sides. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL review: the best camera gets a better phone," 15 Oct. 2018 The former fashion stylist for such brands as Prada and Versace, now a QVC star with her own LOGO label, has a bursting-at-the-seams collection of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and designer purses. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Celebrity Stylist’s Dream Closet Comes to Life," 20 Aug. 2018 Step 6: Seal the Furnace Issue: The seams on most furnaces are not adequately sealed, allowing air to escape. Henry Gifford, Popular Mechanics, "Your House Is Bleeding You Dry. Here Are 9 Steps To Save You Money.," 8 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Roll up the fillets and place them seam side down on a plate. Gina Homolka And Heather K. Jones, Woman's Day, "Pesce Primavera," 19 Sep. 2018 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

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

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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More from Merriam-Webster on seam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seam

Spanish Central: Translation of seam

Nglish: Translation of seam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seam for Arabic Speakers

Comments on seam

What made you want to look up seam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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