Meaning of SEED in English


I. seed 1 S3 W3 /siːd/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sæd ]


a) [uncountable and countable] a small hard object produced by plants, from which a new plant of the same kind grows:

a packet of sunflower seeds

plant/sow seeds (=put them in the soil)

Sow the seeds one inch deep in the soil.

grow something from seed

We grew all our tomatoes from seed.

b) [uncountable] a quantity of seeds:

Some of the poorest farmers don’t have enough money to buy seed.

2 .

IN FRUIT [countable] American English one of the small hard objects in a fruit such as an apple or orange, from which new fruit trees grow SYN pip British English

3 . seeds of something written something that makes a new situation start to grow and develop

seeds of change/victory

The seeds of change in Eastern Europe were beginning to emerge.

seeds of doubt/disaster/destruction etc (=something which makes a bad feeling or situation develop)

Something Lucy said began to sow seeds of doubt in his mind.

4 . go/run to seed

a) if a plant or vegetable goes or runs to seed, it starts producing flowers and seeds as well as leaves

b) if someone or something goes or runs to seed, they become less attractive or good, especially because they are getting old and have not been properly looked after:

The old central bus station is going to seed.

5 . number one/two/three etc seed [countable] a player or team in a competition that is given a particular position, according to how likely they are to win:

He’s been top seed for the past two years.

6 . SEX [uncountable] biblical ↑ semen or ↑ sperm – often used humorously

7 . FAMILY [uncountable] biblical the group of people who have a particular person as their father, grandfather etc, especially when they form a particular race

• • •


■ verbs

▪ plant/sow seeds (=put them in the soil)

Sow the seeds in trays or pots.

▪ grow something from seed (=grow a plant from a seed rather than buying it as a small plant)

You can grow most vegetables from seed.

▪ seeds germinate (=start to grow)

The seeds should start to germinate after a few days.

■ NOUN + seed

▪ flower/sunflower/tomato etc seeds

I bought a packet of poppy seeds.

▪ grass seed

You can sprinkle grass seed over any gaps in the lawn.

II. seed 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . [transitive] to remove seeds from fruit or vegetables:

Add one lime, seeded and sliced.

2 . [transitive usually passive] to give a player or team in a competition a particular position, according to how likely they are to win:

Sharapova was seeded fifth at Wimbledon.

3 . [transitive usually passive] to plant seeds in the ground:

a newly seeded lawn

4 . [intransitive] to produce seeds

5 . seed itself if a tree or plant seeds itself, it produces a new plant using its own seeds

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.