View synonyms for seed


[ seed ]


, plural seeds, (especially collectively) seed.
  1. the fertilized, matured ovule of a flowering plant, containing an embryo or rudimentary plant.
  2. any propagative part of a plant, including tubers, bulbs, etc., especially as preserved for growing a new crop.
  3. such parts collectively.
  4. any similar small part or fruit.
  5. Dialect. pit 2.
  6. the germ or propagative source of anything:

    the seeds of discord.

  7. offspring; progeny.

    Synonyms: issue, posterity

  8. birth:

    not of mortal seed.

  9. sperm; semen.
  10. the ovum or ova of certain animals, as the lobster and the silkworm moth.
  11. a small air bubble in a glass piece, caused by defective firing.
  12. Crystallography, Chemistry. a small crystal added to a solution to promote crystallization.
  13. Tennis. a player who has been seeded in a tournament.

verb (used with object)

  1. to sow (a field, lawn, etc.) with seed.
  2. to sow or scatter (seed).
  3. to sow or scatter (clouds) with crystals or particles of silver iodide, solid carbon dioxide, etc., to induce precipitation.
  4. to place, introduce, etc., especially in the hope of increase or profit:

    to seed a lake with trout.

  5. to sprinkle on (a surface, substance, etc.) in the manner of seed:

    to seed an icy bridge with chemicals.

  6. to remove the seeds from (fruit).
  7. Sports.
    1. to arrange (the drawings for positions in a tournament) so that ranking players or teams will not meet in the early rounds of play.
    2. to distribute (ranking players or teams) in this manner.
  8. to develop or stimulate (a business, project, etc.), especially by providing operating capital.

verb (used without object)

  1. to sow seed.
  2. to produce or shed seed.


  1. of or producing seed; used for seed:

    a seed potato.

  2. being or providing capital for the initial stages of a new business or other enterprise:

    The research project began with seed donations from the investors.



/ siːd /


  1. botany a mature fertilized plant ovule, consisting of an embryo and its food store surrounded by a protective seed coat (testa) seminal
  2. the small hard seedlike fruit of plants such as wheat
  3. (loosely) any propagative part of a plant, such as a tuber, spore, or bulb
  4. such parts collectively
  5. the source, beginning, or germ of anything

    the seeds of revolt

  6. Bible offspring or descendants

    the seed of Abraham

  7. an archaic or dialect term for sperm 1 semen
  8. sport a seeded player
  9. the egg cell or cells of the lobster and certain other animals
  10. chem a small crystal added to a supersaturated solution or supercooled liquid to induce crystallization
  11. go to seed or run to seed
    1. (of plants) to produce and shed seeds
    2. to lose vigour, usefulness, etc
“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


  1. to plant (seeds, grain, etc) in (soil)

    we seeded this field with oats

  2. intr (of plants) to form or shed seeds
  3. tr to remove the seeds from (fruit, etc)
  4. tr chem to add a small crystal to (a supersaturated solution or supercooled liquid) in order to cause crystallization
  5. tr to scatter certain substances, such as silver iodide, in (clouds) in order to cause rain
  6. tr
    1. to arrange (the draw of a tournament) so that outstanding teams or players will not meet in the early rounds
    2. to distribute (players or teams) in this manner
“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



abbreviation for

  1. Scottish Executive Education Department
“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


/ sēd /


  1. A mature fertilized ovule of angiosperms and gymnosperms that contains an embryo and the food it will need to grow into a new plant. Seeds provide a great reproductive advantage in being able to survive for extended periods until conditions are favorable for germination and growth. The seeds of gymnosperms (such as the conifers) develop on scales of cones or similar structures, while the seeds of angiosperms are enclosed in an ovary that develops into a fruit, such as a pome or nut. The structure of seeds varies somewhat. All seeds are enclosed in a protective seed coat. In certain angiosperms the embryo is enclosed in or attached to an endosperm , a tissue that it uses as a food source either before or during germination. All angiosperm embryos also have at least one cotyledon . The first seed-bearing plants emerged at least 365 million years ago in the late Devonian Period. Many angiosperms have evolved specific fruits for dispersal of seeds by the wind, water, or animals.
  2. See more at germination


  1. To plant seeds in soil.
  2. To initiate rainfall or to generate additional rainfall by artificially increasing the precipitation efficiency of clouds.
  3. See more at cloud seeding
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Derived Forms

  • ˈseedless, adjective
  • ˈseedˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • seedless adjective
  • seedless·ness noun
  • seedlike adjective
  • de·seed verb (used with object)
  • over·seed verb
  • re·seed verb
  • under·seeded adjective
  • un·seeded adjective
  • un·seeding adjective
  • well-seeded adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of seed1

before 900; (noun) Middle English sede, side, seed ( e ), Old English sēd, sǣd; cognate with German Saat, Old Norse sāth, Gothic -seths; (v.) Middle English seden to produce seeds, derivative of the noun; akin to sow 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of seed1

Old English sǣd; related to Old Norse sāth, Gothic sēths, Old High German sāt
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. go / run to seed,
    1. (of the flower of a plant) to pass to the stage of yielding seed.
    2. to lose vigor, power, or prosperity; deteriorate:

      He has gone to seed in the last few years.

  2. in seed,
    1. (of certain plants) in the state of bearing ripened seeds.
    2. (of a field, a lawn, etc.) sown with seed.

More idioms and phrases containing seed

see run to seed .
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Example Sentences

Calotropis pod fibers creating an air balloon to carry seeds away from the plant.

From Ozy

Undermyfork, a diabetes tracking app designed to help people with the disease improve “time-in-range” and better manage their condition, has raised $400,000 in seed funding.

For decades, astronomers have theorized microbes could drift through the vastness of space like pollen in the wind, planting the seeds of life across the cosmos.

LeBron James’s points and assists per game, 3-point attempts, effective field-goal percentage and usage rate on his five top-seeded playoff teamsRegular season only.

Knocked-out fifth seed Pittsburgh would have loved to see Lafrenière playing alongside Sidney Crosby next year.

Famously, Ted Turner in 1997 founded the United Nations Foundation with a generous $1 billion in seed money.

He said he hoped their “shed blood [would] act as a seed of hope in order to build authentic brotherhood among peoples.”

When you were setting out to work on The Giver, what planted the seed for this dark, utopian society?

Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions—on a sesame seed bun.

In 1954, no one had met anyone like her, or the novel that contained her: ‘The Bad Seed.’

The seed of discontent was again germinating under the duplicity of the Spanish lay and clerical authorities.

The color (p. 027) of the seed also varies according to the varieties of the plant.

The ne'er-do-well blew, like seed before the wind, to distant places, but mankind at large stayed at home.

When the man turned bad on his hands, Jahweh was angry, and cursed him and his seed for thousands of years.

For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one little measure, and thirty bushels of seed shall yield three bushels.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




seecatchsee daylight