American English

Definition of seed noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    of plants/fruit
  1. 1[countable, uncountable] the small hard part produced by a plant, from which a new plant can grow a packet of wild flower seeds sesame seeds an apple seed Sow the seeds outdoors in spring. These vegetables can be grown from seed. seed potatoes (= used for planting) Topic CollocationsThe Living Worldanimals animals mate/breed/reproduce/feed (on something) fish/amphibians swim/spawn (= lay eggs) birds fly/migrate/nest/sing insects crawl/fly/bite/sting insects/bees/locusts swarm bees collect/gather nectar/pollen spiders spin/weave a web snakes/lizards shed their skins bears/hedgehogs/frogs hibernate insect larvae grow/develop/pupate an egg/a chick/a larva hatches attract/find/choose a mate produce/release eggs/sperm lay/fertilize/incubate/hatch eggs inhabit a forest/a reef/the coast mark/enter/defend (a) territory stalk/hunt/capture/catch/kill preyplants and fungi trees/plants grow/bloom/blossom/flower a seed germinates/sprouts leaves/buds/roots/shoots appear/develop/form flower buds swell/open a fungus grows/spreads/colonizes something pollinate/fertilize a flower/plant produce/release/spread/disperse pollen/seeds/spores produce/bear fruit develop/grow/form roots/shoots/leaves provide/supply/absorb/extract/release nutrients perform/increase/reduce photosynthesisbacteria and viruses bacteria/microbes/viruses grow/spread/multiply bacteria/microbes live/thrive in/on something bacteria/microbes/viruses evolve/colonize something/cause disease bacteria break something down/convert something (into something) a virus enters/invades something/the body a virus mutates/evolves/replicates (itself) be infected with/contaminated with/exposed to a new strain of a virus/drug-resistant bacteria contain/carry/harbor bacteria/a virus kill/destroy/eliminate harmful/deadly bacteria see also birdseed
  2. beginning
  3. 2[countable, usually plural] seed (of something) the beginning of a feeling or a development that continues to grow the seeds of rebellion This planted the seeds of doubt in my mind.
  4. in sports
  5. 3[countable] (in sports, especially tennis) one of the best players or teams in a competition. The seeds are given a position in a list to try and make sure that they do not play each other in the early parts of the competition The top seed won comfortably. the number one seed
  6. of a man
  7. 4[uncountable] (old-fashioned or humorous) semen
  8. 5[uncountable] (literary) all the people who are the children, grandchildren, etc. of one man
  9. Idioms
      go/run to seed
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    1. 1(especially of a vegetable plant) to produce flowers and seeds as well as leaves The lettuces had all run to seed.
    2. 2to become much less attractive or good because of lack of attention After his divorce, he let himself go to seed.
    sow the seeds of something
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    to start the process that leads to a particular situation or result In this way he sowed the seeds of his own success.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: seed