seed

noun
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce seed (audio) \
plural seed or seeds

Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the grains or ripened ovules of plants used for sowing
(2) : the fertilized ripened ovule of a flowering plant containing an embryo and capable normally of germination to produce a new plant broadly : a propagative plant structure (such as a spore or small dry fruit)
b : a propagative animal structure:
(1) : milt, semen
(2) : a small egg (as of an insect)
(3) : a developmental form of a lower animal suitable for transplanting specifically : spat
c : the condition or stage of bearing seed in seed
2 : progeny
3 : a source of development or growth : germ sowed the seeds of discord
4 : something (such as a tiny particle or a bubble in glass) that resembles a seed in shape or size
5 : a competitor who has been seeded in a tournament the top seed
go to seed or run to seed
1 : to develop seed

seed

verb
seeded; seeding; seeds

Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to bear or shed seed
2 : to sow seed : plant

transitive verb

1a : to plant seeds in : sow seed a lawn with grass
b : to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
c : inoculate
d : to supply with nuclei (as of crystallization or condensation) especially : to treat (a cloud) with solid particles to convert water droplets into ice crystals in an attempt to produce precipitation
e : to cover or permeate by or as if by scattering something seeded [the] sea-lanes with thousands of magnetic mines— Otto Friedrich
3 : to extract the seeds from (fruit)
4a : to schedule (tournament players or teams) so that superior ones will not meet in early rounds
b : to rank (a contestant) relative to others in a tournament on the basis of previous record the top-seeded tennis star

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Other Words from seed

Noun

seed adjective
seeded \ ˈsē-​dəd How to pronounce seeded (audio) \ adjective
seedless \ ˈsēd-​ləs How to pronounce seedless (audio) \ adjective
seedlike \ ˈsēd-​ˌlīk How to pronounce seedlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for seed

Synonyms: Noun

fountainhead, germ, origin, root, seedbed

Synonyms: Verb

drill, plant, put in, sow

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Do you cede or seed control?

Verb

Cede means "to yield or grant typically by treaty." Most of the verb senses of seed are concerned with planting seeds (either literal, as of plants, or figuratively, as of ideas). However, the word may also be used to mean "to schedule (tournament players or teams) so that superior ones will not meet in early rounds." If you relinquish or yield something you are ceding it, and if you are organizing the participants in a tournament you are seeding them.

Examples of seed in a Sentence

Noun

a packet of sunflower seeds He planted the seeds three inches apart. She raked the grass seed into the soil. The top seed won the tournament. Our team is the number one seed. She is ranked as the third seed.

Verb

We seeded the field with corn. These plants will seed late in the fall. After you wash and seed the peppers you can chop them.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pick up a mix of walnuts and sunflower seeds for omega-3s, get a side of sweet potatoes for a Beta-carotene boost and add an avocado to a salad or sandwich, these healthy fats equal soft, supple skin. Essence, "5 Tips to Stage-Worthy, Festival Skin," 3 July 2019 Landmarks: The Home Brew Mart Ballast Point may be the seed of San Diego’s craft beer legacy with the founding of Ballast Point Brewing and the supplying of fledgling breweries such as Stone, Karl Strauss and Coronado. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Linda Vista: Military housing push created community with ‘pretty view’," 30 June 2019 Continue direct seeding okra, cucumber, basil, chives, dill, leaf fennel, papalo, corn, melon, squash, New Zealand spinach, sunflower seeds and green beans. 7. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "Ten tips to ensure a healthy lawn during a Colorado summer," 27 June 2019 Wildlife officials found the young black bear along a highway in Oregon, feasting on trail mix, sunflower seeds and cracked corn that appeared to have been deliberately left there for him. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Young Black Bear Was Put Down After Humans Fed It, Took Selfies," 19 June 2019 It was seen next to a pile of trail mix and sunflower seeds that appeared to have been left behind intentionally by some passersby. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Friendly Oregon bear is killed because it wasn’t afraid of humans," 18 June 2019 The friendly bear had been fed trail mix, sunflower seeds and cracked corn. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Oregon officials kill bear because it became "habituated" after humans took selfies with it," 18 June 2019 Add sunflower seeds, cumin, cardamom, remaining 1/4 teaspoon coriander, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Washington Post, "Chewy and nutty pearl barley stars in this hearty bowl dish," 10 June 2019 The Diet Breakfast is typically coffee and nonfat yogurt or nonfat cottage cheese, topped with berries and sprouted sunflower seeds. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "An Ultramarathon Runner at 71," 10 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Eight-time champion Federer is up against talented Italian youngster Matteo Berrettini, seeded 17th at the All England Club, who has already overcome the tests of Diego Schwartzman and Marcos Baghdatis. CNN, "Ashleigh Barty knocked out of Wimbledon on 'Manic Monday'," 8 July 2019 Plants that do best directly seeded include carrots, parsnips, beets, radish, mustard greens, cilantro and arugula. oregonlive.com, "Plant these vegetables now for Oregon’s fall harvest," 8 July 2019 The Pacers are likely a 55-win team, better than the actual two seeded Raptors but not as good as the Irving-Love-James Cavaliers. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "What if the Pacers hadn't traded Kawhi Leonard for George Hill in 2011?," 6 July 2019 Growers in Canada and the U.S. are expected to seed about 20% more field peas this year, government data show. Michael Hirtzer, latimes.com, "Beyond Meat fever turns the tiny pea into America’s hot new crop," 4 July 2019 Toss large pieces of skinned, seeded, just-ripe melon in 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, and roast for 20-25 minutes until the melon pieces begin to caramelize at their edges. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: How to select (and utilize) melon," 2 July 2019 All the curbs were poured and binder asphalt was to have been completed on the entire site by the end of the week of June 23. Landscaping and seeding work was to also begin. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oconomowoc's new Meadow View Elementary is nearing completion ahead of the new school year," 28 June 2019 Because of the way Wimbledon seeds players, which is unique compared with other Grand Slams, Nadal knew this was a very realistic possibility. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Rafael Nadal: Seed compared to Roger Federer at Wimbledon 'doesn't seem right'," 26 June 2019 The only question was whether the Orioles would be able to extract sufficient value for him and several of the club’s other top players to seed the barren farm system. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: As Manny Machado sparks nostalgia, it's important to keep this Orioles team in perspective," 25 June 2019

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

Noun

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2

History and Etymology for seed

Noun

Middle English, from Old English sǣd; akin to Old High German sāt seed, Old English sāwan to sow — more at sow

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Statistics for seed

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seed

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

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More Definitions for seed

seed

noun

English Language Learners Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small object produced by a plant from which a new plant can grow
: the beginning of something which continues to develop or grow
: a player or team that is ranked as one of the best in a competition (such as a tennis tournament) in order to be sure that the best players or teams do not play against each other in the early part of the competition

seed

verb

English Language Learners Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to plant (an area of ground) with seeds
of a plant : to produce seeds
: to remove (seeds) from a fruit or vegetable

seed

noun
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce seed (audio) \

Kids Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a tiny developing plant that is enclosed in a protective coat usually along with a supply of food and that is able to develop under suitable conditions into a plant like the one that produced it
2 : a small structure (as a spore or a tiny dry fruit) other than a true seed by which a plant reproduces itself
3 : the descendants of one individual
4 : a source of development or growth : germ The comment planted a seed of doubt in my mind.

Other Words from seed

seeded \ ˈsē-​dəd \ adjective
seedless \ ˈsēd-​ləs \ adjective

seed

verb
seeded; seeding

Kids Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sow entry 2 sense 2, plant Farmers seed the fields with wheat.
2 : to produce or shed seeds The plant seeds early.
3 : to take the seeds out of You have to wash and seed the peppers.

seed

noun
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce seed (audio) \
plural seed or seeds

Medical Definition of seed

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the fertilized ripened ovule of a flowering plant containing an embryo and capable normally of germination to produce a new plant broadly : a propagative plant structure (as a spore or small dry fruit)
b : a propagative animal structure:
(1) : milt, semen
(2) : a small egg (as of an insect)
(3) : a developmental form of a lower animal — see seed tick
2 : a small usually glass and gold or platinum capsule used as a container for a radioactive substance (as radium or radon) to be applied usually interstitially in the treatment of cancer implantation of radon seeds for bladder cancer

Medical Definition of seed (Entry 2 of 3)

: to bear or shed seed

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
2 : inoculate
3 : to supply with nuclei (as of crystallization or condensation)

seed

adjective

Medical Definition of seed (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : selected or used to produce a new crop or stock seed virus
2 : left or saved for breeding a seed population

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More from Merriam-Webster on seed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seed

Spanish Central: Translation of seed

Nglish: Translation of seed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about seed

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