Definition of seam in US English:

seam

noun

  • 1A line along which two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment or other article.

    • ‘Sew to opposite long edges of the quilt top and press the seams toward the borders.’
    • ‘To bind a neckline, sew only one sweater shoulder seam before adding the binding.’
    • ‘Stitch the side seams and hem the lower edge.’
    • ‘They were made of fine gauze and silks and their seams showed no wear.’
    • ‘Sew the shoulder seams and press open, then set in the sleeves.’
    • ‘The flapper dress echoed the flattened forms and straight seams of the Japanese kimono.’
    • ‘Pin the sleeve and its lining together at the underarm seam down at your wrist.’
    • ‘Cut two pieces of terry cloth, each as wide as the chair, plus 1-inch seam allowances.’
    • ‘The top of the underarm seam is where the design should match when cutting the bodice and sleeves.’
    • ‘The inside seams do not create any discomfort or cause itching.’
    • ‘Baste the seams, leaving the center back seam open about 8 inches.’
    • ‘When practical, sew in sleeves before sewing the side seams and sleeve seams.’
    • ‘He turned to the foreman and said, ‘The patterns of the side seams on these coats do not match.’’
    • ‘Sew the border strips to the long edges and press the seams toward the inner border.’
    • ‘Sew buttons at the garment neckline seam, and button the collar in place.’
    • ‘Stitch a shoulder seam from the pin to the end of the fabric.’
    • ‘Eliminate the center back seam on the vest upper and lower back sections.’
    join, stitching, joint, junction, closure, line
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    1. 1.1 A line where the edges of two pieces of wood, wallpaper, or another material touch each other.
      • ‘A seam roller is a handy tool that flattens the seams between lengths of wallpaper.’
      • ‘The sheets are nailed together at the seams.’
      • ‘If they are, try to use the seam roller and press the seams back into place.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Apply the spray to the point of runoff to as many surfaces as possible, especially joints, seams, cracks, ledges, and corners.’
      • ‘Of these, the most important advantage is extremely thin weld seams.’
      • ‘In the 16th century it was chiefly utilitarian, covering wall seams and keeping out drafts.’
      • ‘But it also can come in tongue-and-groove styles so there are virtually no seams once it is installed.’
      • ‘As with any liner system, it is important to use as few seams as possible.’
    2. 1.2 A long thin indentation or scar.
      ‘a sun-scorched face fissured with delicate seams’
      • ‘This more recent house on the Izu Peninsula marks a temporary break with mining the fertile seams of Toyko's quixotic urban geology.’
      furrow, crease, corrugation, fold, groove, crinkle, pucker, line, ridge, wrinkle, crow's foot, scar
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  • 2An underground layer, as of ore or coal.

    • ‘And they are beginning to mine it as a thick seam of pure gold.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mine operators deferred new mines in recent years because future reserves tend to be in deeper, thinner seams.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Free-standing crystals and two-dimensional sprays in thin seams can be found.’
    layer, stratum, vein, lode, deposit
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Join with a seam.

    ‘it can be used for seaming garments’
    • ‘For patterns with straight front or back seaming, add extra-wide seam allowances to the pattern pieces to support embroidery.’
    • ‘Many joined shopkeepers in wearing period costumes, including authentic make up and seamed stockings.’
    • ‘When straight-stitch seaming, gently stretch the fabric in front of and behind the presser foot as you sew.’
    • ‘A low back and side seaming tailor the leotard while complementing natural curves.’
    • ‘Perfect for traveling due to its wrinkle resistance, tussah is appropriate for garments where shaping is produced by seaming, rather than gathering or pleating.’
    • ‘Constructed of two rectangles of fabric, generally of linen, the chiton was seamed together in a number of variations.’
    • ‘Before cutting, review faux fur seaming options and note whether seam allowances will require adjustment.’
    • ‘On the other hand, for more fashion conscious women there are seamed nylon stockings of thinner varieties, which enhance the beauty of your legs.’
    • ‘All the seams are finished by serging then seaming as she instructs in her patterns.’
    • ‘Avoid patterns with darts and princess seaming.’
    • ‘Lots of girls we talked to said they liked the look of seamed mesh convertible tights.’
    • ‘The fabric was just wide enough to wrap around the body and was seamed up one side to form a tube.’
    • ‘At the bottom the gunwale board was seamed to the next board with tread seam and further down with rivet nails of iron.’
  • 2usually as adjective seamedMake a long, narrow indentation in.

    ‘men in middle age have seamed faces’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was a stocky, dark, hard-countenanced man who had never bothered to have removed the scar that seamed his brow.’
    • ‘She was painfully thin and her face was seamed with many fine lines.’

Phrases

  • bursting (or bulging) at the seams

    • informal (of a place or building) full to overflowing.

      • ‘This album's bursting at the seams with electro flava.’
      • ‘He was bursting at the seams with strength and oomph.’
      • ‘The chosen venue was a trendy tapas joint, which was bursting at the seams with the usual assortment of black-clad denizens.’
      • ‘Here was a gritty, kinetic world opening before them - a complex verbal jazz of messy humanity, boogying in a justice system bursting at the seams.’
      • ‘The film opens with screeching modem noise, and the frame skitters out of space early on, suggesting that the movie is bursting at the seams with electric energy.’
      • ‘The movie as a whole feels rushed, bursting at the seams with seemingly unnecessary subplots and tangential characters.’
      • ‘Certainly, the recent recession has had a serious impact here, but the concert calendar is still bursting at the seams.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The dot-com frenzy was at its peak and the capital markets were so flush with cash that they were practically bursting at the seams.’
      • ‘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.’
      crowded, filled, packed, teeming, seething, swarming, crawling, crammed, thronged, bursting at the seams, solid, overflowing, choked, jammed, congested
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  • 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’
      • ‘I just feel like we are falling apart at the seams I really don't want that to happen.’
      • ‘Ireland put it under pressure and it fell apart at the seams.’
      • ‘Tonight… he literally fell apart at the seams and let me pick up the pieces.’
      • ‘But his first-class form fell apart at the seams last summer and he had lost his place in the side by mid-August.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘I feel as though I am falling apart at the seams.’
      • ‘I am coming apart at the seams at least that's what it feels like.’
      • ‘Arafat came out unscathed, but the fragile relationship between Israel and the Palestinians fell apart at the seams.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

seam

/sim//sēm/