\ ˈsēm How to pronounce seam (audio) \

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 How to pronounce seamlike (audio) \ adjective


seamer noun

Synonyms for seam

Synonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Well aware of the scouting report, and throwing his third straight four-seam fastball, Wacha accidentally put it right there: low and in. Bruce Jenkins,, "Memorable moments: Travis Ishikawa launches Giants to the World Series," 26 Dec. 2019 Overall, though, this is a worrying hit to global trade, threatening to fracture a global economy already coming apart at the seams. Time, "How Trump Gave China a Win on Trade in Southeast Asia," 7 Nov. 2019 The images and reports emerging from the valley present a picture of a place still bursting at the seams with tension. Isha Dubey, Quartz India, "What is Kashmir’s place in India’s collective memory?," 9 Oct. 2019 But this is 2019, and once the internet found the ad and pulled at its seams, there was no turning back. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Peloton's perplexing new holiday ad has incensed the internet," 3 Dec. 2019 Urquidy’s four-seam fastball featured plenty of hop. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros blast Nationals in Game 4 to level World Series," 26 Oct. 2019 Improved command of his four-seam fastball and hard sinker started working for Gonzalez. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ rotation resurgence revolves around Kyle Freeland," 12 Oct. 2019 However, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi struck him out with a four-seam fastball. Alaa Abdeldaiem,, "Mike Yastrzemski Makes Fenway Park Debut With Grandfather in Attendance," 17 Sep. 2019 Fold over and arrange seam side down in prepared pan. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Orange-Thyme Parker House Rolls," 21 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Think: exaggerated collars, contrasting buttons, seaming details. Town & Country, "How to Wear a Classic White Button-Down Shirt for Any Occasion," 3 Sep. 2019 For collectors more interested in seaming than celluloid, several of the lots represent poignant moments in Dior’s history. David Nash, Town & Country, "Olivia de Havilland’s Collection of Christian Dior Haute Couture Is a Film and Fashion Treasure Trove," 15 Aug. 2019 Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Washington Post, "Next time, don’t buy sandwich bread. Make it at home," 1 July 2019 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 dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Washington Post, "Next time, don’t buy sandwich bread. Make it at home," 1 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for seam

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for seam

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seam.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for seam


How to pronounce seam (audio)

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


\ ˈsēm How to pronounce seam (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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