\ ˈsē-mē How to pronounce seamy (audio) \
seamier; seamiest

Definition of seamy

1 archaic : having the rough side of the seam showing
b : degraded, sordid the seamy side of urban life

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Other Words from seamy

seaminess noun

Examples of seamy in a Sentence

She was involved in a seamy corruption scandal.
Recent Examples on the Web The story is both pleasantly seamy and inconsequential, as pat and flimsy as a mad-science soap opera. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "A Lost Orson Welles TV Pilot That’s as Groundbreaking as “Citizen Kane”," 11 Dec. 2020 If noir is a style, its hallmarks might include terse dialogue, an interest in seamy aspects of human behavior and black-and-white cinematography. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Want to Be an Instant Expert on Film Noir? Watch This Drama," 30 Apr. 2020 Over more than half a century, Mr. Fonseca wrote short stories, novels, and screenplays that titillated and shocked Brazilians with their terse style and seamy content. Michael Astor,, "Rubem Fonseca, giant of Brazilian literature, at 94," 23 Apr. 2020 The trial also shined a light on the seamier side of one of the nation’s most ruthless and competitive industries. Chris Francescani, ABC News, "Inside the Harvey Weinstein trial: Reporter's notebook," 25 Feb. 2020 Get the lowdown on Hot Springs’ seamier side in this museum, whose audiovisual galleries explore the lives of famous criminals in the Valley of the Vapors. Washington Post, "Soaking up history in Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park," 7 Feb. 2020 Degas did not ignore the sad, seamy fact of their connection. Washington Post, "Degas had a gift for conveying the truth — even when he was making it all up," 1 Nov. 2019 For all Duncan’s seamier instincts, Bartlett presents the editor as someone willing to burn anyone anytime, no matter how powerful or connected—a quality that can occasionally make the Post invaluable. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The PBS Drama That Untangles British Journalism," 9 Oct. 2019 CrimeCon can occasionally feel like another compromise with the seamier side of true crime. Author: Britt Peterson, Anchorage Daily News, "Victims, families and America’s thirst for true-crime stories," 31 July 2019

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

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for seamy

Time Traveler

The first known use of seamy was in 1605

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Statistics for seamy

Last Updated

18 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seamy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for seamy


How to pronounce seamy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seamy

: of or relating to unpleasant and usually illegal things (such as crime, drugs, etc.)

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