June 02, 2021
Learner's Word of the Day
seed /ˈsiːd/ noun

plural seeds

A bowl of pumpkin seeds
A bowl of pumpkin seeds
Learner's definition of SEED

1 : a small object produced by a plant from which a new plant can grow


  • a packet of sunflower seeds

  • He planted/sowed the seeds three inches apart.

  • (US) apple/orange seeds [=(Brit) pips]


  • She raked the grass seed into the soil.

  • She grows her plants from seed. [=by planting seeds rather than by some other method]

— see color picture on THIS PAGE

2 [count] : the beginning of something which continues to develop or grow

  • Her comment planted/sowed a seed of doubt in his mind. [=caused him to begin to have doubts]

  • The government's policies planted/sowed the seeds of war/destruction. [=created a situation that led to war/destruction]

3 [count] : a player or team that is ranked as one of the best in a competition (such as a tennis tournament) in order to be sure that the best players or teams do not play against each other in the early part of the competition

  • The top seed won the tournament.

  • Our team is the number one seed.

  • She is ranked as the third seed.

4 [noncount]

a literary : all the children, grandchildren, etc., of a particular man

  • the seed of Abraham

b old-fashioned + humorous : a man's semen

  • a man spreading his seed [=fathering many children]

go to seed or run to seed

1 : to produce seeds

  • The flowers will go to seed and spread.

  • The plant runs to seed rapidly in hot weather.

2 : to become less attractive, effective, etc., because of age or lack of care

  • He let himself go to seed after he lost his job.

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