Definition of seed noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//siːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//siːd//
    Tennis, Crops
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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 Sow the seeds outdoors in spring. These vegetables can be grown from seed. seed potatoes (= used for planting) 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/​harbour (especially US English) harbor bacteria/​a virus kill/​destroy/​eliminate harmful/​deadly bacteria see also birdseed See related entries: Crops
  2. 2[countable] (North American English) = pip
  3. beginning
  4. 3[countable, usually plural] seed (of something) the beginning of a feeling or a development which continues to grow the seeds of rebellion This planted the seeds of doubt in my mind.
  5. in tennis
  6. 4[countable] (especially in tennis) one of the best players 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 See related entries: Tennis
  7. of a man
  8. 5[uncountable] (old-fashioned or humorous) semen
  9. 6[uncountable] (literary) all the people who are the children, grandchildren, etc. of one man
  10. Word OriginOld English sǣd, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zaad, German Saat, also to sow1.Extra examples Cutting weeds before they go to seed will greatly reduce future weed problems. Each fruit usually contains a single seed. He argued that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction. Most seeds are spread by the wind. Peel the peppers and remove the seeds. Serena Williams was the top seed at Wimbledon that year. She grew all the broccoli plants from seed. She was the top seed at the US Open this year. The catalogue has hundreds of different varieties of seeds. The plant will set seed in June. This tree produces very hard seeds. the transformation of Tracy from good girl to bad seed I bought some seeds to plant in the garden. She hesitated, not wishing to sow the seeds of rebellion. Sow the seeds outdoors in spring. Those vegetables can be grown from seed. You can buy seed potatoes from garden centres or by mail order. apple/​orange seeds coriander/​cumin/​mustard/​poppy/​pumpkin/​sesame/​sunflower seedsIdioms
    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 American Dictionary entry: seed