noun, plural seeds, (especially collectively) seed.
verb (used with object)
- to arrange (the drawings for positions in a tournament) so that ranking players or teams will not meet in the early rounds of play.
- to distribute (ranking players or teams) in this manner.
verb (used without object)
- (of the flower of a plant) to pass to the stage of yielding seed.
- to lose vigor, power, or prosperity; deteriorate: He has gone to seed in the last few years.
- (of certain plants) in the state of bearing ripened seeds.
- (of a field, a lawn, etc.) sown with seed.
Origin of seed
Synonyms for seed
- (of plants) to produce and shed seeds
- to lose vigour, usefulness, etc
- to arrange (the draw of a tournament) so that outstanding teams or players will not meet in the early rounds
- to distribute (players or teams) in this manner
Word Origin for seed
Old English sed, sæd "that which may be sown; an individual grain of seed; offspring, posterity," from Proto-Germanic *sediz "seed" (cf. Old Norse sað, Old Saxon sad, Old Frisian sed, Middle Dutch saet, Old High German sat, German Saat), from PIE *se-ti- "sowing," from root *se- (1) "to sow" (see sow (v.)). Figurative use in Old English. Meaning "offspring, progeny" rare now except in biblical use. Meaning "semen" is from c.1300. For sporting sense, see seed (v.).
late 14c., "to flower, flourish; produce seed;" mid-15c., "to sow with seed," from seed (n.). Meaning "remove the seeds from" is from 1904. Sporting (originally tennis) sense (1898) is from notion of spreading certain players' names so as to insure they will not meet early in a tournament. The noun in this sense is attested from 1924. Related: Seeded; seeding.
run to seed
Also, go to seed. Become devitalized or worn out; deteriorate, as in I went back to visit my old elementary school, and sadly, it has really run to seed, or The gold medalist quickly went to seed after he left competition. This term alludes to plants that, when allowed to set seed after flowering, either taste bitter, as in the case of lettuce, or do not send out new buds, as is true of annual flowers. Its figurative use dates from the first half of the 1800s.
see run to seed.