the line formed by sewing together pieces of cloth, leather, or the like.
the stitches used to make such a line.
any line formed by abutting edges.
any linear indentation or mark, as a wrinkle or scar.
Knitting. a line of stitches formed by purling.
Geology. a comparatively thin stratum; a bed, as of coal.
verb (used with object)
to join with or as if with stitches; make the seam or seams of.
to furrow; mark with wrinkles, scars, etc.
Knitting. to knit with or in a seam.
verb (used without object)
to become cracked, fissured, or furrowed.
Knitting. to make a line of stitches by purling.

before 1000; Middle English seme (noun), Old English sēam; cognate with German Saum hem; akin to sew1, Greek hymḗn membrane (see hymen)

seamer, noun
underseam, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
seam (siːm)
1.  the line along which pieces of fabric are joined, esp by stitching
2.  a ridge or line made by joining two edges
3.  a stratum of coal, ore, etc
4.  a linear indentation, such as a wrinkle or scar
5.  surgery another name for suture
6.  (modifier) cricket of or relating to a style of bowling in which the bowler utilizes the stitched seam round the ball in order to make it swing in flight and after touching the ground: a seam bowler
7.  bursting at the seams full to overflowing
8.  dialect (Northern English) in a good seam doing well, esp financially
9.  (tr) to join or sew together by or as if by a seam
10.  (US) to make ridges in (knitting) using purl stitch
11.  to mark or become marked with or as if with a seam or wrinkle
[Old English; related to Old Norse saumr, Old High German soum]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. seam, from P.Gmc. *saumaz (cf. O.N. saumr, O.H.G. soum, Ger. Saum), from PIE base *siw-/*sju- "to sew" (cf. O.E. siwian, L. suere, Skt. syuman; see sew).
"Chidynge and reproche vnsowen the semes of freendshipe in mannes herte." [Chaucer, "Parson's Tale," c.1386]
Meaning "raised band of stitching on a ball" is recorded from 1888. Geological use is from 1592. Seamless in fig. sense of "whole, integrated" is attested from 1862.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
seam   (sēm)  Pronunciation Key 
A thin layer or stratum, as of coal or rock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see burst at the seams; come apart at the seams.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Beneath the helicopter's blades, the woods thicken and the terrain rises to a
  seam of limestone crag, dripping with trees.
Cut around the seam along the bottom and sides of the pocket, but leave the
  waistband of the jeans intact.
The change, he said, could have come from miners digging deeper into a coal
Install two nails on each side of the seam formed by the boards' ends.
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