/ siːl; NAmE / verb , noun
[ vn ]
seal sth (up / down) to close an envelope, etc. by sticking the edges of the opening together :
Make sure you've signed the cheque before sealing the envelope.
a sealed bid (= one that is kept in a sealed envelope and therefore remains secret until all other bids have been received)
[ often passive ] seal sth (up) (with sth) to close a container tightly or fill a crack, etc., especially so that air, liquid, etc. cannot get in or out :
The organs are kept in sealed plastic bags.
[ often passive ] seal sth (with sth) to cover the surface of sth with a substance in order to protect it :
The floors had been stripped and sealed with varnish.
MAKE STH DEFINITE
to make sth definite, so that it cannot be changed or argued about :
to seal a contract
They drank a glass of wine to seal their new friendship.
The discovery of new evidence sealed his fate (= nothing could prevent what was going to happen to him) .
CLOSE BORDERS / EXITS
( of the police, army, etc. ) to prevent people from passing through a place :
Troops have sealed the borders between the countries.
see lip , sign verb
- seal sth in
- seal sth in sth
- seal sth off
[ C ] an official design or mark, stamped on a document to show that it is genuine and carries the authority of a particular person or organization :
The letter bore the president's seal.
MAKING STH DEFINITE
[ sing. ] a thing that makes sth definite :
The project has been given the government's seal of approval (= official approval) .
I looked upon the gift as a seal on our friendship.
[ C ] a substance, strip of material, etc. used to fill a crack so that air, liquid, etc. cannot get in or out :
a jar with a rubber seal in the lid
Only drink bottled water and check the seal isn't broken.
ON LETTERS / BOXES
[ C ] a piece of wax (= a soft substance produced by bees ), soft metal or paper that is placed across the opening of sth such as a letter or box and which has to be broken before the letter or box can be opened :
He broke the wax seal and unrolled the paper.
a piece of metal, a ring, etc. with a design on it, used for stamping a wax or metal seal
[ C ] a sea animal that eats fish and lives around coasts. There are many types of seal, some of which are hunted for their fur :
a colony of seals
grey seals basking on the rocks
- set the seal on sth
- under seal
noun senses 2 to 6 and verb Middle English (in senses 2, 5 and 6): from Old French seel (noun), seeler (verb), from Latin sigillum small picture, diminutive of signum a sign.
noun sense 1 Old English seolh , of Germanic origin.