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adjective, seed·i·er, seed·i·est.
  1. abounding in seed.
  2. containing many seeds, as a piece of fruit.
  3. gone to seed; bearing seeds.
  4. poorly kept; run-down; shabby.
  5. shabbily dressed; unkempt: a seedy old tramp.
  6. physically run-down; under the weather: He felt a bit seedy after his operation.
  7. somewhat disreputable; degraded: a seedy hotel.

Origin of seedy

First recorded in 1565–75; seed + -y1
Related formsseed·i·ly, adverbseed·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for seedy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Not so for Louis, who was impatient that so seedy a person should presume to stop them.

    The False Chevalier

    William Douw Lighthall

  • He was a seedy individual, with a face that was horribly pockmarked.

    From Farm to Fortune

    Horatio Alger Jr.

  • What was it to me that he was soiled and seedy and fragrant with gin?

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • You see the child looking pale and seedy, and say at once, "something on her mind."

  • A pair of seedy thoroughbreds, they was, seedy and down and out.

    Odd Numbers</p>

    Sewell Ford

British Dictionary definitions for seedy


adjective seedier or seediest
  1. shabby or unseemly in appearanceseedy clothes
  2. (of a plant) at the stage of producing seeds
  3. informal not physically fit; sickly
Derived Formsseedily, adverbseediness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for seedy


mid-15c., "fruitful, abundant," from seed (n.) + -y (2). From 1570s as "abounding in seeds." Meaning "shabby" is from 1739, probably in reference to the appearance of a flowering plant that has run to seed. Related: Seediness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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