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

For the first time since 2015 all four women’s semifinalists are among the 32 seeds. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Thirteen interesting facts about Serena Williams, her competition in Wimbledon semis," 11 July 2018 The Bullets faced the fourth seed in the West, the SuperSonics, in a series with the unusual home-road format of 1-2-2-1-1. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "NBA superteams haven't won all the championships: 5 surprise winners," 9 July 2018 And over the long-term, this could be the seeds of real problems for the GOP going down the road. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 8, 2018," 8 July 2018 Buried within this harsh reality, however, are seeds of hope for bitcoin believers. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Has Bitcoin Entered the Doom Loop?," 29 June 2018 Kerber, an eleventh-seed and former No. 1 player, has won two Grand Slam titles to date, both in 2016. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Angelique Kerber Defeats Serena Williams at Wimbledon Women’s Final," 14 July 2018 Last year, Lang lost to eventual champion Matt Parziale, who qualified as the ninth seed, in a semifinal matchup. Mia Berry, BostonGlobe.com, "Jackson Lang, Andrew O’Leary share medalist honors in match-play qualifying," 11 July 2018 Williams, slotted as the tournament's 25th seed, moves on. Liz Clarke, chicagotribune.com, "In triumphant return to Wimbledon, Serena Williams faces new questions," 2 July 2018 With the West’s No. 1 seed out of reach, Golden State stumbled into the playoffs having lost 10 of its last 17 games. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "A dynasty secured," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Follow the recipe for Grilled Rosemary-Garlic Lamb Burgers, making the following changes: 1) Substitute one small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped, for the onion. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Switch it up with lamb burgers instead of beef," 13 July 2018 In 2004, one of the top fields in the boys two-mile race came together at Remigino’s meet at Trinity College – a race so full of talent that Gavin Coombs from Griswold, the indoor 3,200 national champion, was seeded fifth. Lori Riley, courant.com, "Lindy Remigino, Won 2 Olympic Gold Medals, Hartford Icon, Dies At 87," 12 July 2018 This year's derby, which will be at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Monday, will feature four players from the AL and NL, with the hitters seeded based upon their home run totals through Tuesday's games. Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Alex Bregman to compete in 2018 Home Run Derby," 12 July 2018 None of the tournament’s top 10 seeded players made it to the quarterfinals, and this is only the second time in the last decade that every one of those top 10 has been reduced to spectator status for the final. Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "Serena Williams advances to her 10th Wimbledon final with victory over Julia Goerges," 12 July 2018 The league estimates that seeding 1 through 16 in the playoffs would increase overall playoff travel by 40 to 50 percent. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "NBA Board of Governors discusses changing the playoff format," 11 July 2018 Back to real time, Bloomberg, a fit 76, is tilling and seeding the political ground. Logan Jenkins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For true moderates, New Yorker tops Dem dream ticket," 9 July 2018 The official draw and seeding for Wimbledon 2018 will be determined on June 29. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "When is Wimbledon 2018? Your Ultimate Guide to Tennis' Biggest Tournament," 25 June 2018 To serve, pour the nut mylk–soaked chia seeds into one or two bowls, and pour contents of the blender off to one side of the bowl(s). Sally Singer, Vogue, "Hollywood’s Favorite Detox Resort Launches a Delicious Vegetarian Cookbook," 13 June 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

19 Sep 2018

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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