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

Combine sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Bread Branch Sticks," 12 Sep. 2019 Each entry, covering more than 2,400 species and cultivars, includes a description of foliage, flowers, seeds, fruit, range and adaptability. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Garden book review: ’The Tree Book: Superior Selections for Landscapes’," 9 Sep. 2019 The list explained orange wine as a white wine that is made like a red; the skins and seeds, left to macerate in the juice for a while, impart color and texture. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "How the Orange-Wine Fad Became an Irresistible Assault on Pleasure," 7 Sep. 2019 Others, including sparrows, with a more varied omnivore diet of insects and fruits and seeds, linger into November. Cori Brown, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Cori Brown: Nature signals a time to recharge," 7 Sep. 2019 This marijuana — seeds, small and large mature plants — can be sold to retail pot shops and processors processers, but owners can apply for only one grow license. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Here are six licenses to consider for entering Michigan's recreational pot market," 5 Sep. 2019 First, the tears came from Coco Gauff, as the 15-year-old American's U.S. Open came to an end against defending champion and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka. CBS News, "Naomi Osaka defeats Coco Gauff in 2 sets at U.S. Open," 31 Aug. 2019 Cy Creek finished last season as regional quarterfinalists despite making the postseason as a fourth seed, while Klein did the same and were knocked out in bi-district. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Running game sets tone as Klein beats Cy Creek to open season," 31 Aug. 2019 Juneau, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, won its final four games to finish the season with a 28-5 record. Anchorage Daily News, "Juneau wins twice in extra innings to grab a third straight state baseball championship," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The researchers altered the TREM2 gene in mice and seeded their brains with a little human tau. Lauran Neergaard, chicagotribune.com, "Scientists rethink Alzheimer’s, diversifying the drug search," 11 Sep. 2019 Malaysian authorities plan to conduct cloud-seeding activities to induce rain to ease the haze. Washington Post, "Indonesian province shuts schools due to forest fire haze," 11 Sep. 2019 So has South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose fundraising prowess is quietly seeding a crop of aides in Iowa and New Hampshire working out of far-flung offices and living in new small towns. Philip Elliott, Time, "The September Democratic Debate is a Key Test for an Unsettled Field," 11 Sep. 2019 And the gel is saturated with stem cells to help seed actual cell growth. Scientific American, "Test Pilot Geese, Planetary Wrecking Balls and Super AI Vision: The Week’s Best Science GIFs," 6 Sep. 2019 This moisture influx sustains life by seeding thick bands of clouds that keep water locked in the lush forest and flowing into river that supply communities downstream. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "4 Reasons Why We Need the Amazon Rainforest," 4 Sep. 2019 The metal pipe was replaced with concrete, a new sidewalk was installed and the area was re-seeded with grass. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Sinkholes in Eastpointe, Fraser repaired," 1 Sep. 2019 Instead, the top eight from each classification gets re-seeded (based on regular-season winning percentage) and placed into state quarterfinals, where the higher seed hosts the game. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Fall Sports Previews: 3 things to watch for field hockey in 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 When main-draw singles play at the U.S. Open began, on Monday, there were, among the thirty-two seeded women’s players, four from the Czech Republic. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, "Karolína Muchová and the Czech Republic’s New Tennis Generation," 30 Aug. 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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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

Comments on seed

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