\ 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 seam (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 This seam ripper is purple and white to give you easy identification. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Seam Ripper for Fabric," 10 May 2021 But much of the success on his curve according to Cora, has a lot to do with his four-seam fastball velocity., "Kiké Hernández placed on injured list," 8 May 2021 His four-seam fastball velocity jumped to a 94.5 mph average, and his top weapon maxed out at 98.6 mph in the first inning. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers beat rain twice, but lose, 7-3, to Minnesota Twins in series opener at home," 8 May 2021 Neighbors recently bought a new phone and hasn’t re-downloaded all his old apps yet, including seam reader. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Dallas-area baseball stars are flashing tantalizing potential as two-way players. Will it carry over to the college level?," 4 May 2021 Their house in Venice, Calif., a modern dwelling with standing-seam metal siding and a steel exoskeleton, which Ms. Measer designed for her family, wouldn’t work. New York Times, "In Los Angeles, a Foxy Henhouse," 4 May 2021 And Winker, with a runner at second base to start the inning, lifted his second pitch, a 92-mph two-seam fastball up and away, just over the wall in left field for the only homer Jansen has surrendered in 10 1/3 innings this season. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers lose to Reds after Kenley Jansen gives up home run in the 10th," 26 Apr. 2021 The popularity of these quilts continued through the early 20th century, with seamstresses making lavish quilts of silk, velvet and brocade and showing off decorative stitching on each seam. oregonlive, "This crazy quilt’s back story boosts its value and interest for collectors," 21 Apr. 2021 These days, Chojnicka relies on a seam ripper, an instrument used by sewers to rip out stitches. Washington Post, "Bored in the pandemic, she made art by bruising bananas. Now she has an international following.," 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Place on cutting board, top with heaping 1/4 cup filling, roll up and place, seam side down, in baking dish. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "Shrimp, Zucchini and Corn Enchiladas," 4 May 2021 Big is always up even against a non-shooter which leaves that seam to the rim open. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "NBA roundtable: Who deserves more attention as serious championship contenders?," 14 Apr. 2021 Look for rips, tears, and weak tent poles, and consider re-waterproofing your tent with a spray coating or seam sealant. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Tents for Your Next Camping or Backpacking Trip," 23 Mar. 2021 The Packers run verticals, attacking the Rams interior with a seam-bending route. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "New Browns safety John Johnson III is a star in the making and can unlock Joe Woods’ defense -- here’s how: Film review," 16 Mar. 2021 Lightly roll the ball under your palm until smooth and round and place on the reserved plate, seam side down, draping with the tea towel. Washington Post, "How to make light, chewy, flavor-packed flour tortillas at home," 15 Oct. 2020 This will still protect you from rain, but seam tape can flake and lose its water-resistant properties over time. Outdoor Life, "Best Men’s Parka: Winter Outdoor Apparel for Braving the Elements," 26 Jan. 2021 When the pan is hot, add the burritos, seam side down. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, "Here's an easy breakfast recipe for burritos you can make ahead and freeze for later," 4 Oct. 2020 Arrange the pinwheels seam side down on serving plates, or use toothpicks to secure them. Washington Post, "French Dip Pinwheels," 24 Sep. 2020

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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
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

More from Merriam-Webster on seam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seam

Nglish: Translation of seam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seam for Arabic Speakers

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