from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A line of junction formed by sewing together two pieces of material along their margins.
  • noun A similar line, ridge, or groove made by fitting, joining, or lapping together two sections along their edges.
  • noun A suture.
  • noun A scar.
  • noun A line across a surface, as a crack, fissure, or wrinkle.
  • noun A thin layer or stratum, as of coal or rock.
  • intransitive verb To put together with or as if with a seam.
  • intransitive verb To mark with a groove, wrinkle, scar, or other seamlike line.
  • intransitive verb To become fissured or furrowed; crack open.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cover with grease; grease.
  • noun Tallow; grease; lard.
  • To join with a seam; unite by sewing.
  • In knitting, to make an apparent seam in with a certain stitch: as, to seam a stocking.
  • To mark with a seam, fissure, or furrow; scar: as, a face seamed with wounds.
  • To crack; become fissured or cracked.
  • In knitting, to work in a particular manner so as to produce a seam.
  • noun A horse-load; a load for a pack-horse; specifically, eight bushels of grain or malt.
  • noun Same as slit-band.
  • noun A joint used in sheet-metal work where two plates are joined by turning over the edge of the plate and hooking this turned edge into the similarly flexed edge of the next.
  • noun The line formed by joining two edges; especially, the joining line formed by sewing or stitching together two different pieces of cloth, leather, or the like, or two edges of the same piece; a line of union.
  • noun A piece of plain sewing; that on which sewing is being or is to be done; sewing.
  • noun A line of separation, as between two strata, or two planks or the like when fastened together; also, the fissure or gap formed by the imperfect union of two bodies laid or fastened together: as, to calk the seams of a ship.
  • noun A fissure; a cleft; a groove.
  • noun The ridge in a casting which marks the place where two parts of the mold have been in contact, as in a plaster east or a molded piece of earthenware.
  • noun A cicatrix or scar.
  • noun A bed or stratum: so used especially in speaking of coal: as, a seam of coal (a bed or continuous layer of coal).
  • noun plural See the quotation.
  • noun In anatomy, a suture; a raphe.
  • noun In sail-making, a seam run in the middle of a cloth longitudinally, by overlaying a fold of the canvas on itself, so as to give the appearance of a regular seam as between two separate cloths. This is done for appearance in yacht-sails, and to make the sail stand flatter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun engraving, engraving The quantity of eight bushels of grain.
  • noun engraving The quantity of 120 pounds of glass.
  • transitive verb To form a seam upon or of; to join by sewing together; to unite.
  • transitive verb To mark with something resembling a seam; to line; to scar.
  • transitive verb 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.
  • noun Obs. or Prov. Eng. Grease; tallow; lard.
  • intransitive verb To become ridgy; to crack open.
  • noun The fold or line formed by sewing together two pieces of cloth or leather.
  • noun Hence, a line of junction; a joint; a suture, as on a ship, a floor, or other structure; the line of union, or joint, of two boards, planks, metal plates, etc.
  • noun (Geol. & Mining) A thin layer or stratum; a narrow vein between two thicker strata.
  • noun A line or depression left by a cut or wound; a scar; a cicatrix.
  • noun a blast made by putting the powder into seams or cracks of rocks.
  • noun a lace used by carriage makers to cover seams and edges; -- called also seaming lace.
  • noun (Agric.) A tailor's sadiron for pressing seams.
  • noun a set for flattering the seams of metal sheets, leather work, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun sewing A folded back and stitched piece of fabric; especially, the stitching that joins two or more pieces of fabric.
  • noun A suture.
  • noun A thin stratum, especially of coal or mineral.
  • noun cricket The stitched equatorial seam of a cricket ball; the sideways movement of a ball when it bounces on the seam.
  • noun An old English measure of grain, containing eight bushels.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English seme, from Old English sēam; see syū- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word seam.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Seamingly

    The line formed by joining two edges

    a line of union

    A line of separation

    the fissure or gap formed by the imperfect union of two bodies laid or fastened together

    The ridge in a casting

    A bed or stratum

    a raphe

    A seam of glass, according to the old statute de ponderibus

    Tallow; grease; lard

    A purl

    June 11, 2012