See more synonyms for seed on
noun, 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. pit2.
  6. the germ or propagative source of anything: the seeds of discord.
  7. offspring; progeny.
  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. seed oyster.
  12. a small air bubble in a glass piece, caused by defective firing.
  13. Crystallography, Chemistry. a small crystal added to a solution to promote crystallization.
  14. 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.
  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.

Origin of seed

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 sow1
Related formsseed·less, adjectiveseed·less·ness, nounseed·like, adjectivede·seed, verb (used with object)o·ver·seed, verbre·seed, verbun·der·seed·ed, adjectiveun·seed·ed, adjectiveun·seed·ing, adjectivewell-seed·ed, adjective
Can be confusedcede concede secede seedrecede reseed

Synonyms for seed

See more synonyms for on
7. descendants, heirs, posterity, issue, scions. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for unseeded


  1. (of players in various sports) not assigned to a preferential position in the preliminary rounds of a tournamentSee seed (def. 18)


abbreviation for
  1. Scottish Executive Education Department


  1. botany a mature fertilized plant ovule, consisting of an embryo and its food store surrounded by a protective seed coat (testa)Related adjective: 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 anythingthe seeds of revolt
  6. mainly Bible offspring or descendantsthe 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. See seed oyster
  11. chem a small crystal added to a supersaturated solution or supercooled liquid to induce crystallization
  12. go to seed or run to seed
    1. (of plants) to produce and shed seeds
    2. to lose vigour, usefulness, etc
  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
Derived Formsseedlike, adjectiveseedless, adjective

Word Origin for seed

Old English sǣd; related to Old Norse sāth, Gothic sēths, Old High German sāt
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 unseeded



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unseeded in Medicine


  1. A ripened plant ovule that contains an embryo.
  2. A propagative part of a plant, such as a tuber or a spore.
  3. Sperm; semen.
  4. A pellet filled with a radioactive isotope that is implanted at the site of a cancerous tumor to provide localized administration of radiation.
  1. To inoculate a culture medium with microorganisms.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

unseeded in Science


  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. See more at germination ovule.
  1. To plant seeds in soil.
  2. To initiate rainfall or to generate additional rainfall by artificially increasing the precipitation efficiency of clouds. See more at cloud seeding.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with unseeded


see run to seed.

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