Definition of seam in English:

seam

noun

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

    • ‘Cut two pieces of terry cloth, each as wide as the chair, plus 1-inch seam allowances.’
    • ‘To bind a neckline, sew only one sweater shoulder seam before adding the binding.’
    • ‘They were made of fine gauze and silks and their seams showed no wear.’
    • ‘Pin the sleeve and its lining together at the underarm seam down at your wrist.’
    • ‘Stitch a shoulder seam from the pin to the end of the fabric.’
    • ‘Sew the border strips to the long edges and press the seams toward the inner border.’
    • ‘When practical, sew in sleeves before sewing the side seams and sleeve seams.’
    • ‘Baste the seams, leaving the center back seam open about 8 inches.’
    • ‘Sew the shoulder seams and press open, then set in the sleeves.’
    • ‘The inside seams do not create any discomfort or cause itching.’
    • ‘The flapper dress echoed the flattened forms and straight seams of the Japanese kimono.’
    • ‘He turned to the foreman and said, ‘The patterns of the side seams on these coats do not match.’’
    • ‘Stitch the side seams and hem the lower edge.’
    • ‘Sew to opposite long edges of the quilt top and press the seams toward the borders.’
    • ‘Sew buttons at the garment neckline seam, and button the collar in place.’
    • ‘The top of the underarm seam is where the design should match when cutting the bodice and sleeves.’
    • ‘Eliminate the center back seam on the vest upper and lower back sections.’
    join, stitching, joint, junction, closure, line
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A line where the edges of two pieces of wood, wallpaper, or another material touch each other.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the 16th century it was chiefly utilitarian, covering wall seams and keeping out drafts.’
      • ‘A seam roller is a handy tool that flattens the seams between lengths of wallpaper.’
      • ‘Of these, the most important advantage is extremely thin weld seams.’
      • ‘Apply the spray to the point of runoff to as many surfaces as possible, especially joints, seams, cracks, ledges, and corners.’
      • ‘If they are, try to use the seam roller and press the seams back into place.’
      • ‘The sheets are nailed together at the seams.’
      • ‘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. 1.2A 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.’
  • 2An underground layer, as of ore or coal.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Free-standing crystals and two-dimensional sprays in thin seams can be found.’
    • ‘And they are beginning to mine it as a thick seam of pure gold.’
    • ‘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.’
    layer, stratum, vein, lode, deposit
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Join with a seam.

    ‘it can be used for seaming garments’
    • ‘Avoid patterns with darts and princess seaming.’
    • ‘At the bottom the gunwale board was seamed to the next board with tread seam and further down with rivet nails of iron.’
    • ‘The fabric was just wide enough to wrap around the body and was seamed up one side to form a tube.’
    • ‘All the seams are finished by serging then seaming as she instructs in her patterns.’
    • ‘Many joined shopkeepers in wearing period costumes, including authentic make up and seamed stockings.’
    • ‘Lots of girls we talked to said they liked the look of seamed mesh convertible tights.’
    • ‘Before cutting, review faux fur seaming options and note whether seam allowances will require adjustment.’
    • ‘For patterns with straight front or back seaming, add extra-wide seam allowances to the pattern pieces to support embroidery.’
    • ‘When straight-stitch seaming, gently stretch the fabric in front of and behind the presser foot as you sew.’
    • ‘On the other hand, for more fashion conscious women there are seamed nylon stockings of thinner varieties, which enhance the beauty of your legs.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2Make a long narrow indentation in.

    ‘men in middle age have seamed faces’
    • ‘They were moving away from the sea, over flat farmlands seamed with stony riverbeds.’
    • ‘She was painfully thin and her face was seamed with many fine lines.’
    • ‘His face was seamed with wrinkles, and he generally dressed as if he were an unmade bed.’
    • ‘He was a stocky, dark, hard-countenanced man who had never bothered to have removed the scar that seamed his brow.’

Phrases

  • bursting (or bulging) at the seams

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 movie as a whole feels rushed, bursting at the seams with seemingly unnecessary subplots and tangential characters.’
      • ‘This album's bursting at the seams with electro flava.’
      • ‘Certainly, the recent recession has had a serious impact here, but the concert calendar is still 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was bursting at the seams with strength and oomph.’
      • ‘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.’
      crowded, filled, packed, teeming, seething, swarming, crawling, crammed, thronged, bursting at the seams, solid, overflowing, choked, jammed, congested
      View synonyms
  • 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 am coming apart at the seams at least that's what it feels like.’
      • ‘Tonight… he literally fell apart at the seams and let me pick up the pieces.’
      • ‘I feel as though I am falling apart at the seams.’
      • ‘Arafat came out unscathed, but the fragile relationship between Israel and the Palestinians fell 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.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘But his first-class form fell apart at the seams last summer and he had lost his place in the side by mid-August.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

seam

/sēm/