Word Confusion: Seat versus Seed

Posted September 29, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 21 January 2019

Yeah, me too. I had to wonder how anyone could possibly confuse seat with seed. They don’t even sound alike.

You may want to explore the post “Cede versus Seed” as well.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Seat Seed
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

pink and gold brocade chair

Presidential Chair courtesy of Museo del Bicentenario is under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

Seat used in the Presidential Office by Presidents Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.


Baobab Fruit is T.K. Naliaka’s own work under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

You don’t want to eat these seeds!

Part of Grammar:
Noun 1; Verb, intransitive & transitive 2

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: seats
Past tense or past participle: seated
Gerund or present participle: seating

Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: seeds
Past tense or past participle: seeded
Gerund or present participle: seeding

A thing made or used for sitting on, such as a chair or stool

  • The roughly horizontal part of a chair, on which one’s weight rests directly
  • A sitting place for a passenger in a vehicle or for a member of an audience
  • A place in an elected legislative or other body
  • A site or location of something specified
  • Short for country seat
  • Short for county seat
  • A part of a machine that supports or guides another part

A person’s buttocks

  • The part of a garment that covers the buttocks
  • A manner of sitting on a horse

Verb, intransitive:
[Of a cap, valve, etc.] To be closed or in proper position

Verb, transitive:
To place on a seat or seats

  • Cause to sit down

To usher to a seat or find a seat for

To have seats for

  • Accommodate with seats

To put a seat on or into (a chair, garment, etc.)

To install in a position or office of authority, in a legislative body, etc.

To fit (a valve) with a seat

To attach to or place firmly in or on something as a base

A flowering plant’s unit of reproduction, capable of developing into another such plant

  • A quantity of these
  • The cause or latent beginning of a feeling, process, or condition
  • [Archaic; chiefly in biblical use] A person’s offspring or descendants
  • A man’s semen
  • [Also seed crystal] A small crystal introduced into a liquid to act as a nucleus for crystallization
  • A small container for radioactive material placed in body tissue during radiotherapy

Any of a number of stronger competitors in a sports tournament who have been assigned a specified position in an ordered list with the aim of ensuring that they do not play each other in the early rounds

[Dialect] Pit

Verb, intransitive:
[Of a plant] Produce or drop seeds

  • [Seed itself; of a plant] Reproduce itself by means of its own seeds

Verb, transitive:
Sow (land) with seeds

  • Sow (a particular kind of seed) on or in the ground
  • Cause (something) to begin to develop or grow
  • Place a crystal or crystalline substance in (something) in order to cause crystallization or condensation (especially in a cloud to produce rain)

Remove the seeds from (vegetables or fruit)

Give (a competitor) the status of seed in a tournament

He’s flying through this by the seat of his pants.

Washington D.C. is the seat of our federal government.

Little Minglington is considered a safe seat for the party.

We’ll need a car seat for the baby.

Oh, wow, you have got one heck of a tear in the seat of your jeans.

We’ll have to replace the seat on one of the dining room chairs.

I get the front seat.

We have a fairly small theater with about 1,300 seats.

He lost his seat in the 1998 election.

The Duke of Norfolk’s family seat is Arundel Castle in Sussex.

The seat for Ozaukee county is Port Washington.

You’ve been sitting in the tree again, what with all the bark and dust on your seat.

He’s got the worst seat on a horse of anyone I’ve ever seen.

The brain is said to be the seat of reason.

Verb, intransitive:
Be sure that the cap of the dipstick seats.

The new senator was seated in the House.

Verb, transitive:
We’d like to be seated in the front row.

This theater will seat 1200 people.

He seated her next to her husband.

She invited them to be seated.

He was a dummy in a seated position.

Those upper boulders were simply seated in the interstices below.

You’ll have to seat the valve.

Seat the telescope on the tripod.

The usher insisted on seating us.

The morning glories are going to seed.

We’ll need some more grass seed to patch those bad spots.

You can grow artichokes from seed.

The conversation sowed a tiny seed of doubt in his mind.

They were the seed of his loins.

He spilled his seed without thought.

They sowed the seeds of discord.

The semiconductor industry uses seed crystals.

Intracavitary radiation and interstitial radiation use radioactive implants such as pellets, seeds, ribbons, wires, needles, capsules, balloons, or tubes (American Cancer Society).

He knocked the top seed out of the championships.

Verb, intransitive:
Mulches encourage many plants to seed freely.

Feverfew will seed itself readily.

Verb, transitive:
The shoreline is seeded with a special grass.

Severance payouts that help seed their new businesses are available now.

They plan to seed the clouds this afternoon.

Can you stem and seed the chilies for me?

Jeff Tarango, seeded five, was defeated by fellow American Todd Witsken.

Adjective: seatless, underseated, well-seated
Noun: seatbelt, -seater, seater, seating
Verb, transitive: misseat
Adjective: seedless, seedlike
Noun: seedlessness
Verb: overseed
Verb, transitive: deseed
History of the Word:
  1. Middle English from Old Norse sæti, which is from the Germanic base of sit.
  2. Dates from the late 16th century.
Old English sæd is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch zaad and the German Saat; also to the verb sow.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Man Filling Seeders is from the Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-D0408-0002-001 under the CC BY-SA 3.0 de license, via Wikimedia Commons.

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