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See also: Seed


English Wikipedia has articles on:


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English seed, sede, side, from Old English sēd, sǣd (seed, that which is sown), from Proto-Germanic *sēdiz (seed), from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁tis (corresponding to Proto-Germanic *sēaną (to sow) +‎ *-þiz), from *seh₁- (to sow, throw). Cognate with West Frisian sied (seed), Dutch zaad (seed), Low German Saad (seed), German Saat (sowing; seed), Icelandic sæði (seed), Danish sæd (seed), Swedish säd (seed), Latin satio (seeding, time of sowing, season). More at sow.

Alternative forms[edit]


seed (countable and uncountable, plural seeds)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Sunflower seeds (1).
  1. (countable, botany) A fertilized and ripened ovule, containing an embryonic plant.
  2. (countable) Any small seed-like fruit.
    • 1658, Thomas Browne, “The Garden of Cyrus. []. Chapter III.”, in Hydriotaphia, Urne-buriall, [] Together with The Garden of Cyrus, [], London: Printed for Hen[ry] Brome [], OCLC 48702491; reprinted as Hydriotaphia (The English Replicas), New York, N.Y.: Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1927, OCLC 78413388, page 136:
      The exiguity and ſmallneſſe of ſome ſeeds extending to large productions is one of the magnalities of nature, ſomewhat illuſtrating the work of the Creation, and vaſt production from nothing.
    • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
      Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation,  [] . In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better. These rarities may be new mutations, or they can be existing ones that are neutral—or are even selected against—in a wild population. A good example is mutations that disrupt seed dispersal, leaving the seeds on the heads long after they are ripe.
    If you plant a seed in the spring, you may have a pleasant surprise in the autumn.
  3. (countable, agriculture) Any propagative portion of a plant which may be sown, such as true seeds, seed-like fruits, tubers, or bulbs.
  4. (uncountable, collective) An amount of seeds that cannot be readily counted.
    The entire field was covered with geese eating the freshly sown seed.
  5. (countable) A fragment of coral.
  6. (uncountable) Semen.
    • 1611, King James Version, Leviticus 15:16:
      And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even.
    A man must use his seed to start and raise a family.
  7. (countable, figuratively) A precursor.
    Synonym: germ
    the seed of an idea; which idea was the seed (idea)?
  8. (countable) The initial state, condition or position of a changing, growing or developing process; the ultimate precursor in a defined chain of precursors.
    1. The initial position of a competitor or team in a tournament. (seed position)
      The team with the best regular season record receives the top seed in the conference tournament.
    2. The competitor or team occupying a given seed. (seed position)
      The rookie was a surprising top seed.
    3. Initialization state of a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG). (seed number)
      If you use the same seed you will get exactly the same pattern of numbers.
    4. Commercial message in a creative format placed on relevant sites on the Internet. (seed idea or seed message)
      The latest seed has attracted a lot of users in our online community.
  9. (now rare) Offspring, descendants, progeny.
    the seed of Abraham
  10. Race; generation; birth.
    • (Can we date this quote by Waller and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Of mortal seed they were not held.
  11. A small bubble formed in imperfectly fused glass.
Usage notes[edit]

The common use of seed differs from the botanical use. The “seeds” of sunflowers are botanically fruits.

Derived terms[edit]


seed (third-person singular simple present seeds, present participle seeding, simple past and past participle seeded)

  1. (transitive) To plant or sow an area with seeds.
    I seeded my lawn with bluegrass.
  2. (transitive) To cover thinly with something scattered; to ornament with seedlike decorations.
  3. (transitive) To start; to provide, assign or determine the initial resources for, position of, state of.
    A venture capitalist seeds young companies.
    The tournament coordinator will seed the starting lineup with the best competitors from the qualifying round.
    The programmer seeded fresh, uncorrupted data into the database before running unit tests.
  4. (sports, gaming) To allocate a seeding to a competitor.
  5. (Internet, transitive) To leave (files) available for others to download through peer-to-peer file sharing protocols (e.g. BitTorrent).
  6. (intransitive) To be qualified to compete, especially in a quarter-final, semi-final, or final.
    The tennis player seeded into the quarters.
  7. (intransitive) To produce seed.
  8. (intransitive) To grow to maturity.
  9. (slang, vulgar) To ejaculate inside the penetratee during intercourse, especially in the rectum.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

see +‎ -d (past tense suffix; variant of -ed).



  1. (dialectal) simple past tense and past participle of see