seed

noun
\ ˈsēd \
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 \ adjective
seedless \ ˈsēd-​ləs \ adjective
seedlike \ ˈsēd-​ˌlīk \ 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

One of Rossiello’s former associates from her consulting days provided some seed funding for BitPesa, and the company really took off after a series-A round of funding in which billionaire investor Tim Draper threw his hat in the ring. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018 Use a reputable potting mix, or opt for a kit that includes planting medium, seeds, and pots. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden That Actually Stays Alive All Winter," 7 Dec. 2018 Credit goes to a plethora of fast-absorbing moisturizing ingredients, including glycerin, grape seed oil, shea butter, and coconut oil. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "The 8 Best Hand Creams to Moisturize Dry, Cracked Hands ASAP," 6 Dec. 2018 Lightweight argan and tea seed oils in this formula work to moisturize dry patches and rough bumps, while vitamin C ester fades hyperpigmentation and brightens skin over time with continual use. 2. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The 5 Truly Brilliant Beauty Products I'm Loving This Week," 26 Sep. 2018 In other words, seed stage is getting increasingly expensive, forcing early-stage funds to throw in the towel (see Arena Ventures & SV Angel). Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Monday, June 25," 25 June 2018 ShopShops, which has raised $6.1 million in seed funding, takes a commission of 15% to 25% on each sale. David Pierson, latimes.com, "It's like QVC — but through a live-stream. How U.S. boutiques are reaching customers in China," 14 June 2018 The communities will get seed funding and help from a Georgia Tech researcher for their winning projects, which involve exploring connected vehicle (Gwinnett County) and autonomous vehicle (Chamblee) technologies. Tyler Estep, ajc, "Georgia Tech backs transportation innovations in Gwinnett, Chamblee," 14 June 2018 On Sunday morning, five entrepreneurs will compete for $18,000 in seed funding for their startup ideas to enhance city life. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston and other smart cities run better, but they should be even smarter, report says," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In bowl, combine scallions and seeded jalapeños, 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped) and lime zest, then toss with Monterey Jack cheese. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Cheesy Tex-Mex Stuffed Chicken," 21 Dec. 2018 Bundles of bay leaf, sage, seeded eucalyptus, and white pine add a lovely accent to every plate. ELLE Decor, "This Holiday Party Is Anything But Traditional—And We're Obsessed," 30 Nov. 2018 The idea of an all-women sailing mission was seeded there and then. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 Sessions has already seeded the federal government with his outlook and knowledge. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions gave Trump the immigration crackdown he wanted," 7 Nov. 2018 It was seeded through a legitimate update module of M.E.Doc, a tax-accounting application that’s widely used in Ukraine. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Two new supply-chain attacks come to light in less than a week," 23 Oct. 2018 Each team is guaranteed at least five games, with the teams being seeded in a tournament-style bracket based upon their first three games. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Here's how to watch two former Boise State basketball players in NBA Summer League," 5 July 2018 In the latest Arizona Interscholastic Association/MaxPreps playoff rankings, Horizon was seeded 15th, and Pinnacle fifth. Richard Obert, azcentral, "USA Baseball makes Horizon coach Eric Kibler sports development contributor," 18 Apr. 2018 Growing Basil Start indoors in individual pots, plant seeds outdoors when frosts are over and the ground is warm, or buy bedding plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Basil for Your Best Pesto Yet," 20 Aug. 2018

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

10 Jan 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 \

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 \
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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