Definition of seam in English:

seam

Line breaks: seam
Pronunciation: /siːm
 
/

noun

  • 1A line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment or other article.
    More example sentences
    • He turned to the foreman and said, ‘The patterns of the side seams on these coats do not match.’
    • The flapper dress echoed the flattened forms and straight seams of the Japanese kimono.
    • Cut two pieces of terry cloth, each as wide as the chair, plus 1-inch seam allowances.
    Synonyms
    join, stitching, joint, junction, closure, line; Surgery suture
  • 1.1A line where the edges of two pieces of wood, wallpaper, or another material touch each other: the task involved clamping the panels into position and arc welding a seam to join them
    More example sentences
    • Apply the spray to the point of runoff to as many surfaces as possible, especially joints, seams, cracks, ledges, and corners.
    • To hide the rough seams, I purchased raw wood moulding from the lumberyard and finished it to match the aged look of the Arquati frame.
    • A seam roller is a handy tool that flattens the seams between lengths of wallpaper.
  • 1.2A long thin indentation or scar: the track cleaves a seam through corn
    More example sentences
    • This more recent house on the Izu Peninsula marks a temporary break with mining the fertile seams of Toyko's quixotic urban geology.
    Synonyms
  • 2An underground layer of a mineral such as coal or gold: the buried forests became seams of coal
    More example sentences
    • A seam of coal about two feet thick was discovered, but underlying this seam of coal was a seam of clay approximately four feet thick.
    • There was a coal seam on his property, a V-shaped trench behind the old homesite where the farm family had dug out chunks for home use.
    • There in the bottom of the brook was a seam of amethyst crystals that averaged perhaps to be one half inch thick and a inch long.
    Synonyms
  • 2.1A supply of something valuable: Sunderland have a rich seam of experienced players
    More example sentences
    • On his mother's side of the family, Ian found a further rich seam of history.
    • But there is now a seam of talent in reserve that gets the manager's blood racing.
  • 2.2A trace or presence of something: there is a seam of despondency in Stipe’s words
    More example sentences
    • But Australia has always had a seam of prim respectability running alongside its man o' the people stuff.
    • Each president had a seam of fatalism, but neither acted as if he lacked the power to shape the course of the conflict.

verb

Back to top  
  • 1Join with a seam: it can be used for seaming garments
    More example sentences
    • When straight-stitch seaming, gently stretch the fabric in front of and behind the presser foot as you sew.
    • Perfect for traveling due to its wrinkle resistance, tussah is appropriate for garments where shaping is produced by seaming, rather than gathering or pleating.
    • Before cutting, review faux fur seaming options and note whether seam allowances will require adjustment.
  • 2 (usually as adjective seamed) Make a long, narrow indentation in: men in middle age have seamed faces
    More example sentences
    • He was a stocky, dark, hard-countenanced man who had never bothered to have removed the scar that seamed his brow.
    • His face was seamed with wrinkles, and he generally dressed as if he were an unmade bed.
    • They were moving away from the sea, over flat farmlands seamed with stony riverbeds.

Phrases

bursting (or bulging) at the seams

informal (Of a place or building) full to overflowing: because the hotel was bursting at the seams everyone had to double up
More example sentences
  • The death of his father and the birth of his son are the framing events for a canvas bursting at the seams with drama and allegory, visual detail and theatrical elaboration.
  • The chosen venue was a trendy tapas joint, which was bursting at the seams with the usual assortment of black-clad denizens.
  • And they're bursting at the seams with some of the problems that I talked about earlier - this notion of reallocating storage and the backup problems.

come (or fall) apart at the seams

informal (Of a person or system) be in a very poor condition and near to collapse: the attitude of the airport guard was symptomatic of a system falling apart at the seams
More example sentences
  • Journalists from all the broadsheets declared that the figures didn't bear up to close scrutiny, fell apart at the seams, and were a ‘swamp of muddled thinking’.
  • Arafat came out unscathed, but the fragile relationship between Israel and the Palestinians fell apart at the seams.
  • Ireland put it under pressure and it fell apart at the seams.

Origin

Old English sēam, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zoom and German Saum.

More definitions of seam

Definition of seam in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody