seed·​ling | \ ˈsēd-liŋ How to pronounce seedling (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from seedling

seedling adjective

Examples of seedling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So planting the seedling deep, halfway up the stalk, is good. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "How to Grow a Better Tomato," 12 May 2020 The seedlings for the next decade in the conference began to sprout among nonplayoff teams. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "The Lakers withstood a test of time in a stacked West during 2010 title run," 10 May 2020 As the seedlings grow and form their first true leaf, thin them and up-pot if necessary. 13. oregonlive, "Now is the time to start a veggie garden from seeds; here’s how," 10 Apr. 2020 Near the coast, with a milder winter, the seedlings might grow bigger, so the safest idea is to wait and plant seed at the start of February. Pam Peirce,, "What you need to know before you plant onions," 13 Dec. 2019 Plants that were not covered were damaged, for me, that was young potato foliage and bean seedlings. The Washington Post, "Adrian Higgins on lessons learned while gardening during a pandemic, and more," 14 May 2020 Plant seeds into a moist well-draining sterile seedling mix. oregonlive, "Need help deterring pests in the garden? Ask an expert," 2 May 2020 The startup accelerator is famous for churning out influential companies, like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe, growing them from seedlings into massive success. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The Threat of Covid-19 Disrupts the Disrupters," 27 Mar. 2020 This is actually part of an annual tree seedling sale and distribution which has been conducted by the Cook Inlet Chapter of the Alaska Society of American Foresters. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "With everything going on, Alaskans need plant nurseries more than ever," 25 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of seedling

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about seedling

Time Traveler for seedling

Time Traveler

The first known use of seedling was in 1629

See more words from the same year

Statistics for seedling

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seedling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for seedling


How to pronounce seedling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seedling

: a young plant that is grown from seed


seed·​ling | \ ˈsēd-liŋ How to pronounce seedling (audio) \

Kids Definition of seedling

1 : a young plant grown from seed
2 : a young tree before it becomes a sapling

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!