I. seal 1 S3 /siːl/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Sense 1: Language: Old English ; Origin: seolh ]
[ Sense 2-6: Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: seel , from Latin sigillum , from signum ; ⇨ ↑ sign 1 ]
1 . a large sea animal that eats fish and lives around coasts
a) a mark that has a special design and shows the legal or official authority of a person or organization:
The document carried the seal of the governor’s office.
b) the object that is used to make this mark
3 . a piece of rubber or plastic that keeps air, water, dirt etc out of something
an airtight seal around the windows
4 . a piece of ↑ wax , paper, wire etc that you have to break in order to open a container, document etc
5 . seal of approval if you give something your seal of approval, you say that you approve of it, especially officially:
A number of employers have already given their seal of approval to the scheme.
6 . set the seal on something British English to make something definite or complete:
In 1972, Nixon himself went to China to set the seal on the new relationship.
II. seal 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
1 . ( also seal up ) to close an entrance or a container with something that stops air, water etc from coming in or out of it:
The window was sealed shut.
seal a joint/crack/opening/gap
A quick way to seal awkward gaps is to use a foam filler.
Dried milk is kept in hermetically sealed (=very tightly closed) containers.
2 . if a building, area, or country is sealed, no one can enter or leave it:
Authorities plan to seal the border.
3 . to close an envelope, package etc by using something sticky to hold its edges in place:
He wrote the address and sealed the envelope.
4 . to cover the surface of something with something that will protect it:
Wooden decks should be sealed to prevent cracking.
5 . seal sb’s fate to make something, especially something bad, sure to happen:
The outbreak of war sealed the government’s fate.
6 . seal a deal/bargain/pact etc to make an agreement more formal or definite
7 . seal a victory/win/match to make a victory certain:
Smith’s goal sealed the victory.
⇨ sb’s lips are sealed at ↑ lip (5), ⇨ all signed and sealed at ↑ sign 2 (6)
• • •
▪ close to stop being open, or to make something stop being open. You use close and shut especially about your eyes, your mouth, a door, a window, or a container:
Can I close the window?
Her eyes slowly closed.
He closed the door gently, so as not to wake the children.
▪ shut to close something . Shut sometimes has a feeling of doing something quickly and firmly, whereas close sounds more careful:
He shut the door with a loud bang.
Shut your eyes and go to sleep.
▪ slam to close a door or lid quickly and noisily, especially because you are angry:
She left the room, slamming the door behind her.
▪ draw the curtains to close curtains by pulling them across a window:
The curtains were still drawn at ten o'clock in the morning.
▪ put the lid on something to close a container by putting a lid onto it:
Did you put the lid on the cookie jar?
▪ seal to close something so that no air or water can get in or out:
In this experiment, the chamber must be completely sealed.
seal something ↔ in phrasal verb
to stop something that is inside something else from getting out:
Fry the meat quickly to seal in the juices.
seal something ↔ off phrasal verb
to stop people from entering an area or building, because it is dangerous:
Following a bomb warning, police have sealed off the whole area.