verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to become cracked, fissured, or furrowed.
Knitting. to make a line of stitches by purling.

Nearby words

  1. sealery,
  2. sealift,
  3. sealing wax,
  4. sealskin,
  5. sealyham terrier,
  6. seam binding,
  7. seam bowler,
  8. seaman,
  9. seaman apprentice,
  10. seaman recruit

Origin of seam

before 1000; Middle English seme (noun), Old English sēam; cognate with German Saum hem; akin to sew1, Greek hymḗn membrane (see hymen)

Related formsseam·er, nounun·der·seam, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for seam

British Dictionary definitions for seam



the line along which pieces of fabric are joined, esp by stitching
a ridge or line made by joining two edges
a stratum of coal, ore, etc
a linear indentation, such as a wrinkle or scar
surgery another name for suture (def. 1b)
(modifier) cricket of or relating to a style of bowling in which the bowler utilizes the stitched seam round the ball in order to make it swing in flight and after touching the grounda seam bowler
bursting at the seams full to overflowing
in a good seam Northern English dialect doing well, esp financially


(tr) to join or sew together by or as if by a seam
US to make ridges in (knitting) using purl stitch
to mark or become marked with or as if with a seam or wrinkle

Word Origin for seam

Old English; related to Old Norse saumr, Old High German soum

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 seam
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for seam



A thin layer or stratum, as of coal or rock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with seam


see burst at the seams; come apart at the seams.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.