a. A line of junction formed by sewing together two pieces of material along their margins.
b. A similar line, ridge, or groove made by fitting, joining, or lapping together two sections along their edges.
c. A suture.
d. A scar.
2. A line across a surface, as a crack, fissure, or wrinkle.
3. A thin layer or stratum, as of coal or rock.
v. seamed, seam·ing, seams
1. To put together with or as if with a seam.
2. To mark with a groove, wrinkle, scar, or other seamlike line.
To become fissured or furrowed; crack open.
[Middle English seme, from Old English sēam; see syū- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.