seed Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a small hard fruit
  2. noun a mature fertilized plant ovule consisting of an embryo and its food source and having a protective coat or testa
  3. noun one of the outstanding players in a tournament
    seeded player.
  4. noun anything that provides inspiration for later work
    source; germ.
  5. noun the thick white fluid containing spermatozoa that is ejaculated by the male genital tract
    semen; ejaculate; seminal fluid; cum; come.
  6. verb go to seed; shed seeds
    • The dandelions went to seed
  7. verb help (an enterprise) in its early stages of development by providing seed money
  8. verb bear seeds
  9. verb place (seeds) in or on the ground for future growth
    • She sowed sunflower seeds
  10. verb distribute (players or teams) so that outstanding teams or players will not meet in the early rounds
  11. verb sprinkle with silver iodide particles to disperse and cause rain
    • seed clouds
  12. verb inoculate with microorganisms
  13. verb remove the seeds from
    • seed grapes


Seed noun
OE. seed, sed, AS. sd, fr. sawan to sow; akin to D. zaad seed, G. saat, Icel. sa, si, Goth. manasps seed of men. world. See Sow to scatter seed, and cf. Colza.
plural Seed or Seeds
  1. (Bot.) (a) A ripened ovule, consisting of an embryo with one or more integuments, or coverings; as, an apple seed; a currant seed. By germination it produces a new plant. (b) Any small seedlike fruit, though it may consist of a pericarp, or even a calyx, as well as the seed proper; as, parsnip seed; thistle seed.
    And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself. Gen. i. 11.
    ✍ The seed proper has an outer and an inner coat, and within these the kernel or nucleus. The kernel is either the embryo alone, or the embryo inclosed in the albumen, which is the material for the nourishment of the developing embryo. The scar on a seed, left where the stem parted from it, is called the hilum, and the closed orifice of the ovule, the micropyle.
  2. (Physiol.) The generative fluid of the male; semen; sperm; -- not used in the plural.
  3. That from which anything springs; first principle; original; source; as, the seeds of virtue or vice.
  4. The principle of production.
    Praise of great acts he scatters as a seed, Which may the like in coming ages breed. Waller.
  5. Progeny; offspring; children; descendants; as, the seed of Abraham; the seed of David. ✍ In this sense the word is applied to one person, or to any number collectively, and admits of the plural form, though rarely used in the plural.
  6. Race; generation; birth.
    Of mortal seed they were not held. Waller.
Seed transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Seeded; present participle & verbal noun Seeding
  1. To sprinkle with seed; to plant seeds in; to sow; as, to seed a field.
  2. To cover thinly with something scattered; to ornament with seedlike decorations.
    A sable mantle seeded with waking eyes. B. Jonson.

Webster 1913