See more synonyms for seam on
  1. the line formed by sewing together pieces of cloth, leather, or the like.
  2. the stitches used to make such a line.
  3. any line formed by abutting edges.
  4. any linear indentation or mark, as a wrinkle or scar.
  5. Knitting. a line of stitches formed by purling.
  6. Geology. a comparatively thin stratum; a bed, as of coal.
verb (used with object)
  1. to join with or as if with stitches; make the seam or seams of.
  2. to furrow; mark with wrinkles, scars, etc.
  3. Knitting. to knit with or in a seam.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become cracked, fissured, or furrowed.
  2. Knitting. to make a line of stitches by purling.

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 seaming

Historical Examples of seaming

British Dictionary definitions for seaming


  1. the line along which pieces of fabric are joined, esp by stitching
  2. a ridge or line made by joining two edges
  3. a stratum of coal, ore, etc
  4. a linear indentation, such as a wrinkle or scar
  5. surgery another name for suture (def. 1b)
  6. (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
  7. bursting at the seams full to overflowing
  8. in a good seam Northern English dialect doing well, esp financially
  1. (tr) to join or sew together by or as if by a seam
  2. US to make ridges in (knitting) using purl stitch
  3. 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 seaming



Old English seam "seam, suture, junction," from Proto-Germanic *saumaz (cf. Old Frisian sam "hem, seam," Old Norse saumr, Middle Dutch som, Dutch zoom, Old High German soum, German Saum "hem"), from PIE root *syu- "to sew, to bind" (cf. Old English siwian, Latin suere, Sanskrit syuman; see sew).

Chidynge and reproche ... vnsowen the semes of freendshipe in mannes herte. [Chaucer, "Parson's Tale," c.1386]

Meaning "raised band of stitching on a ball" is recorded from 1888. Geological use is from 1590s.



1580s, from seam (n.). Related: Seamed; seaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

seaming in Science


  1. 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 seaming


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.