• Seam


    • Homophones: seem
    • Rhymes: -iːm

    Origin 1

    From Old English sēam, from Proto-Germanic *saumaz ("that which is sewn"). Cognate with West Frisian seam, Dutch zoom, German Saum, Swedish söm.

    Full definition of seam



    (plural seams)
    1. (sewing) A folded back and stitched piece of fabric; especially, the stitching that joins two or more pieces of fabric.
    2. A suture.
    3. A thin stratum, especially of coal or mineral.
    4. (cricket) The stitched equatorial seam of a cricket ball; the sideways movement of a ball when it bounces on the seam.
    5. An old English measure of grain, containing eight bushels.
    6. An old English measure of glass, containing twenty-four weys of five pounds, or 120 pounds.
      • 1952: As white glass was 6s. the 'seam', containing 24 'weys' (pise, or pondera) of 5 lb., and 2 1/2 lb. was reckoned sufficient to make one foot of glazing, the cost of glass would be 1 1/2d. leaving 2 1/2d. for labour. — , Building in England, p. 175.
    7. (construction) A joint formed by mating two separate sections of materials.Seams can be made or sealed in a variety of ways, including adhesive bonding, hot-air welding, solvent welding, using adhesive tapes, sealant, etc.
    8. A line or depression left by a cut or wound; a scar; a cicatrix.
    9. (figurative) A line of junction; a joint.
      • AddisonPrecepts should be so finely wrought together ... that no coarse seam may discover where they join.

    Derived terms


    1. To put together with a seam.
    2. To make the appearance of a seam in, as in knitting a stocking; hence, to knit with a certain stitch, like that in such knitting.
    3. To mark with a seam or line; to scar.
      • Alexander PopeSeamed o'er with wounds which his own sabre gave.
    4. To crack open along a seam.
      • L. WallaceLater their lips began to parch and seam.
    5. (cricket) Of the ball, to move sideways after bouncing on the seam.
    6. (cricket) Of a bowler, to make the ball move thus.

    Origin 2

    See saim.



    (plural seams)
    1. (UK, dialect, obsolete) grease; tallow; lard
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