seed·ling | \ˈsēd-liŋ \

Definition of seedling 

1 : a young plant grown from seed

2a : a young tree before it becomes a sapling

b : a nursery plant not yet transplanted

Illustration of seedling

Illustration of seedling

seedling 2a: 1 primary root, 2 rootlet, 3 root hairs, 4 hypocotyl, 5 cotyledon, 6 young stem, 7 true leaf

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Other Words from seedling

seedling adjective

Examples of seedling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Under the proposed law, a two-year medical marijuana license would allow someone to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana, six mature plants and six seedlings, along with edibles and concentrated forms of the drug. CBS News, "Oklahoma voters approve medical marijuana despite bitter opposition," 27 June 2018 If passed, the law would allow those in possession of a license to have up to eight ounces of marijuana, six mature plants, six seedlings, and edibles or concentrated forms of the drug. Hallie Detrick, Fortune, "Oklahoma Voters Could Approve One of the Least-Restrictive Medical Marijuana Laws Today," 26 June 2018 Giant hogweed doesn't grow 14 feet overnight; the seedlings and saplings start out much smaller. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 411 on Giant Hogweed, the Invasive Plant That Can Cause Severe Burns," 21 June 2018 Master Gardeners from the Ohio State University Extension Service will be on hand to answer questions about growing seedlings and vegetables, and other plant topics. Joan Rusek,, "Romaine calm, Geauga farmers' market opens May 12 in South Russell: Valley Views," 4 May 2018 Further heroic manipulations finally yield seeds, then seedlings, and ultimately restoration of the species on Rodrigues. Richard Conniff, WSJ, "‘The Plant Messiah’ Review: The Miracle Worker," 13 Apr. 2018 Now also is a good time to control hardwood seedlings such as hackberry, mulberry and Chinaberry and vining weeds such as Smilax and catsclaw. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "It’s early, but you may want to pull your tomatoes now," 22 June 2018 Photo: Richard Beaven for The Wall Street Journal A Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researcher collects tissue from tomato seedlings. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Is This Tomato Engineered? Inside the Coming Battle Over Gene-Edited Food," 15 Apr. 2018 Everything the seedlings need is already in the seed or will be supplied by the soil. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Now is the perfect time to grow an indoor salad garden. Here’s how," 22 Mar. 2018

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

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for seedling

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

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The first known use of seedling was in 1629

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More Definitions for seedling



English Language Learners Definition of seedling

: a young plant that is grown from seed


seed·ling | \ˈsēd-liŋ \

Kids Definition of seedling

1 : a young plant grown from seed

2 : a young tree before it becomes a sapling

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More from Merriam-Webster on seedling

Spanish Central: Translation of seedling

Nglish: Translation of seedling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seedling for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about seedling

Comments on seedling

What made you want to look up seedling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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