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

Stay away from bags filled with the white seeds (millet), which is for ground feeders. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Create a home for birds, a new world for yourself," 10 June 2019 Berhalter’s second straight after a 3-0-1 start—that seeds some doubt as the tournament looms. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Second Straight Dud Gives USMNT Cause for Concern Entering Gold Cup," 9 June 2019 Barty, the number 8 seed, will face the Czech Republic’s Markéta Vondroušová in the final this weekend. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova loses French Open semifinal, ending fairytale run," 7 June 2019 The researchers think the ants’ heroic streak may have evolved because V. pergandei has to collect enough seeds for the colony to produce hundreds of new ants daily. Jake Buehler, Science | AAAS, "Watch an ant rip apart a spiderweb to rescue a sibling," 7 June 2019 Demonstration on how to attract the monarch butterfly, with free milkweed seeds; see local artist Deb Sindric painting a mural of wildflowers. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Garden tours across Wisconsin will be lush and colorful thanks to abundant rain," 6 June 2019 In their whole, natural form, grain seeds, or kernels, consist of three parts: the bran (the tough outer layer), the germ (the tiny, nutrient-dense core), and the endosperm (the largest, starchy part) the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Exactly Are Refined Carbs?," 18 May 2019 Complete with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mustard, the sesame seed bun. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Katy Perry Dressed Up As A Hamburger For The Met Gala 2019 After Party," 7 May 2019 The comments like it, the hand waves, or the pretend crying, particularly from the older generation, all planted a swollen seed of unease in my stomach. Miriam Foley, Good Housekeeping, "We're Family, But You Have to Stop Trying to Kiss My Daughter," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thiem, a 25-year-old Austrian who was seeded No. 4 and upset No. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in 4 sets to win his 12th French Open title," 9 June 2019 Thiem, a 25-year-old Austrian who was seeded No. 4 and upset No. Howard Fendrich, courant.com, "Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in four sets to win his 12th French Open, 18th career Grand Slam title," 9 June 2019 That left them seeded seventh in the nine-team final. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "State track: North St. Paul’s Jones, Rosemount’s Peterson each go 3 for 3," 8 June 2019 Joining Anisimova in reaching the French Open’s final four is 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, who upset three seeded players on her march to her first semifinals of a major. Liz Clarke, The Denver Post, "Amanda Anisimova, 17, is last American standing at French Open and a step from final," 6 June 2019 Kumquat Simple Syrup: Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup hot water, and 3 kumquats, sliced and seeded in a blender. Puree until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Leslie Kirchhoff, Ice Cube Artist, Shares 3 Spring Cocktail Recipes," 14 May 2019 This foolish idea may win the BJP votes in the current election, but at the cost of undermining interfaith harmony, seeding long-term domestic... Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "India’s Government Considers a ‘Muslim Ban’," 18 Apr. 2019 Anderson’s quarterfinal opponent will be top-seeded Roger Federer, for whom a Wimbledon quarterfinal is no novelty. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "John Isner Tries to Wring Happy Memories From His ‘House of Horrors’," 9 July 2018 Since May 10, Loyola won four consecutive games, all shutouts, before falling to undefeated and top-seeded New Trier in the sectional final on Friday. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Girls soccer notes: Undefeated New Trier wins Class 3A sectional title," 29 May 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

13 Jun 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

Comments on seed

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