seed

1 of 2

noun

plural seed or seeds
1
a(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
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
seed adjective
seeded adjective
seedless adjective
seedlike adjective

seed

2 of 2

verb

seeded; seeding; seeds

intransitive verb

1
: to bear or shed seed
2
: to sow seed : plant

transitive verb

1
a
: to plant seeds in : sow
seed a lawn with grass
b
: to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
c
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 minesOtto Friedrich
2
3
: to extract the seeds from (fruit)
4
a
: 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
Phrases
go to seed or run to seed
1
: to develop seed
2

Did you know?

Do you cede or seed control?

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The fruit has an oval shape and small, black edible seeds (similar to kiwi), and the pulp has a sweet and sour taste.39 Dragon fruit varieties are most commonly found in specialty stores or Asian supermarkets. Jamie Johnson, Verywell Health, 11 July 2024 Hemp seeds and oils now are sold in a variety of products, including milk, oil and gummies, that are touted as pain relievers, sleep aids and anti-anxiety cures. Jeffrey Schweers, Orlando Sentinel, 11 July 2024
Verb
Between the lines: The exposure seeded the ground for a slow-growth expansion to coastal states far from the brewery's Weld County roots. John Frank, Axios, 11 July 2024 The real goal is to seed the lingering suspicion that something terrible is hiding just out of sight — right below you, perhaps, or just over your shoulder. David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 8 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for seed 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'seed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old English sǣd; akin to Old High German sāt seed, Old English sāwan to sow — more at sow

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of seed was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near seed

Cite this Entry

“Seed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seed. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

seed

1 of 2 noun
plural seed or seeds
1
a
: the grains of plants used for sowing
b
: a fertilized ripened ovule of a flowering plant that contains an embryo and is capable of producing a new plant
also : a plant structure (as a spore or small dry fruit) capable of producing a new plant
c
: semen
also : milt
2
: the children of one individual
the seed of David
3
: something from which growth takes place : germ
4
: a competitor who has been seeded in a tournament
the top seed
seed adjective
seeded adjective
seedlike adjective

seed

2 of 2 verb
1
: to produce or shed seeds
weeds that seed freely
2
: to plant seeds in : sow
seed a lawn with grass
3
: to treat (a cloud) with solid particles to convert water droplets into ice crystals in an attempt to produce rain
4
: to remove seeds from
5
: to rank (a player or team) in a tournament on the basis of previous record
was seeded second in the state tournament

Medical Definition

seed

1 of 3 noun
plural seed or seeds
1
a
: 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

seed

2 of 3 intransitive verb
: to bear or shed seed

transitive verb

1
: to furnish with something that causes or stimulates growth or development
2
3
: to supply with nuclei (as of crystallization or condensation)

seed

3 of 3 adjective
1
: selected or used to produce a new crop or stock
seed virus
2
: left or saved for breeding
a seed population

More from Merriam-Webster on seed

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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