American English

Definition of seam noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a line along which two edges of cloth, etc. are joined or sewn together a shoulder seam
  2. 2a thin layer of coal or other material, between layers of rock under the ground They struck a rich seam of iron ore. (figurative) The book is a rich seam of information.
  3. 3a line where two edges meet, for example the edges of wooden boards Light was spilling in through the seams of the door.
  4. Idioms
    be bursting/bulging at the seams (informal)
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    to be very full, especially of people
    be falling/coming apart at the seams (informal)
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    to be going very badly wrong and likely to stop functioning completely She was falling apart at the seams, spending most of her time in tears. His little world fell apart at the seams.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: seam