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[seem] /sim/
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.
Origin of seam
before 1000; Middle English seme (noun), Old English sēam; cognate with German Saum hem; akin to sew1, Greek hymḗn membrane (see hymen)
Related forms
seamer, noun
underseam, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for seams
  • It should have no cemented rubber seams to open up in the warm, moist climate.
  • It seams that it was logical to think about geometrical form of this particle, but this did not happen.
  • It seems waterproof except for the seams and zipper.
  • Finding new seams to replace depleted ones is becoming harder.
  • Pull back the comforter and sheets and look for the fecal stains on the mattress seams and ticking.
  • We tended to find some gaps and seams in things they were doing but still had a difficult time finishing the shot.
  • Carter tore his bag along the seams and placed it on his tray table as a kind of plate.
  • It seams the sensors this article is referring to don't use much power.
  • But there may be a silver lining yet to take shape along the weakened seams of this all-but-empty, high-fashion clutch.
  • Every scene bulges at the celluloid seams with suggestive possibility.
British Dictionary definitions for seams


the line along which pieces of fabric are joined, esp by stitching
a ridge or line made by joining two edges
a stratum of coal, ore, etc
a linear indentation, such as a wrinkle or scar
(surgery) another name for suture (sense 1b)
(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
bursting at the seams, full to overflowing
(Northern English, dialect) in a good seam, doing well, esp financially
(transitive) to join or sew together by or as if by a seam
(US) to make ridges in (knitting) using purl stitch
to mark or become marked with or as if with a seam or wrinkle
Word Origin
Old English; related to Old Norse saumr, Old High German soum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for seams



Old English seam "seam, suture, junction," from Proto-Germanic *saumaz (cf. Old Frisian sam "hem, seam," Old Norse saumr, Middle Dutch som, Dutch zoom, Old High German soum, German Saum "hem"), from PIE root *syu- "to sew, to bind" (cf. Old English siwian, Latin suere, Sanskrit 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 1590s.


1580s, from seam (n.). Related: Seamed; seaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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seams in Science
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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Slang definitions & phrases for seams


Related Terms

come apart at the seams

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with seams
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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