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

Those five kinds of common seedling volunteer trees are all messy, undesirable species. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Volunteering is great but 'volunteer' plants are a whole different story," 1 June 2018 The robusta seedlings were brought to Colombia from France and Mexico. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Why Does Your Coffee Taste Like Tires? A Battle Brews Between Beans," 16 Dec. 2018 That an oyster goes from a seedling in the Atlantic to a restaurant in Manhattan is nothing short of a miracle. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "How to Find and Serve a Perfect Oyster, According to the New Englanders Who Know Best," 18 July 2018 Seed packs and catalogs specify the number of days to harvest, but fail to tell you that’s counting from transplanting seedlings, not from sowing the seed. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "It’s possible to grow more than you’d expect in a small space," 10 Jan. 2018 The seedlings struggled for years to take root, but 50-odd years later, the effect is impressive: a full map of Italy, including Sardinia and Sicily, is etched with trees on the hillside. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Italian Pine Forest Is Shaped Exactly Like...Italy," 1 Oct. 2018 Here the class practices preparing trays with proper drainage, and scatter-sowing Thai basil seeds before moving on to pea shoots, lemon verbena seedlings, and ice lettuce, which looks like a succulent covered in frost. Jo Rodgers, Vogue, "Getting Back to Nature (With a Bit of Champagne) at Raymond Blanc’s Luxe English Gardening School," 6 Aug. 2018 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. Sean Murphy, The Seattle Times, "Oklahoma voters weigh 1st marijuana ballot question of 2018," 25 June 2018 Groves of trees have already been planted around the site, and volunteers are planting 150,000 seedlings. Washington Post, "Tower at Flight 93 memorial to open by 9/11 anniversary," 3 June 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

2 Jan 2019

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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

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