seminal

play
adjective sem·i·nal \ ˈse-mə-nᵊl \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of seminal

1 :of, relating to, or consisting of seed or semen
2 :containing or contributing the seeds of later development :creative, original
  • a seminal book

seminally

play \ˈse-mə-nᵊl-ē\ adverb

Examples of seminal in a Sentence

  1. Kandel was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2000 for his seminal observation that it was in the action of the synapses between cells that memory existed, not in the cells themselves, and that a molecule called cyclic AMP was what allowed cells to retain memory over the long term. —Michael GreenbergNew York Review of Books4 Dec. 2008
  2. Writer Susan Sontag died December 28 at age 71 after a long battle with cancer. She left behind an impressive body of fiction and criticism, including her seminal 1960s essays "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation." —Allan GurganusAdvocate1 Feb. 2005
  3. I wonder if the curators who organized "Matisse Picasso" ever asked themselves why it was that Alfred H. Barr Jr., the first director of the Museum of Modern Art and the guiding spirit behind the museum's seminal exhibitions of both Picasso and Matisse, never mounted a show like the one that has now arrived at MoMA QNS. Such an exhibition might seem to be logical, almost inevitable for the Museum of Modern Art. —Jed PerlNew Republic3 Mar. 2003

Recent Examples of seminal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seminal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of seminal

Middle English, from Latin seminalis, from semin-, semen seed — more at semen


SEMINAL Defined for English Language Learners

seminal

play
adjective

Definition of seminal for English Language Learners

  • : having a strong influence on ideas, works, events, etc., that come later : very important and influential

  • medical : of or containing semen


Medical Dictionary

seminal

play
adjective sem·i·nal \ ˈsem-ən-ᵊl \

medical Definition of seminal

:of, relating to, or consisting of seed or semen
  • seminal discharge


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