Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
c.1600, "least pleasant, worst," in figurative phrase seamy side, from seam + -y (2); the seamy side of a sewn garment being the less attractive, and thus typically turned in. The popularity of the figurative sense likely is due to its use by Shakespeare in "Othello" IV.ii.146: "Some such Squire he was That turn'd your wits the seamy-side without, And made you to suspect me with the Moore."
adj. morally degraded; "a seedy district"; "the seamy side of life"; "sleazy characters hanging around casinos"; "sleazy storefronts with...dirt on the walls"- Seattle Weekly; "the sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils"- James Joyce; "the squalid atmosphere of intrigue and betrayal" [syn: seedy, sleazy, sordid, squalid]
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Seamy \Seam"y\, a.
Having a seam; containing seams, or showing them. ``Many a
Everything has its fair, as well as its seamy, side.
--Sir W. Scott.
a. 1 sordid, squalid or corrupt. 2 Having or showing a seam.
Usage examples of "seamy".
And it may be preliminarily noted that what explorations Gard afterward made in this great and seamy side of Teuton nature, likewise ended in a downward direction toward depths that he had scarcely thought possible in the educated human.
There are people trying to dig up dirt on Paul, and your father is wary of your growing reputation for gravitating toward the seamier side of life.
South America, David would have picked up the seamier variations of the Spanish language.
Maginn sucked her mouth into a rosette as she divulged a seamier use of the secret passage.
The subconscious must fear and detest the conscious, he thought, as much as the aware portion refuses to have anything to do with the seamier concerns of the subconscious.
They had fled via poorly lit passageways and unguarded doors to a small Worship Hall in the seamier quarter of Carlon.
She had just been told by that Arab Gamal that it was some American girl who wanted to taste the seamier side of French nightlife.
In fact, this is where we started to see the seamier side of society, because the policeman would often come round and have a drink with us.
Moving instinctively away from the seamier part of the city, Blake headed towards the distant main streets in search of the Police Headquarters.
The young thief had just returned from his foray into the seamier parts of Beresa.
Ajuda-Pinto, Marquis Miguel d' Scenes from a Courtesan's Life The Secrets of a Princess Beatrix Beauseant, Marquis An Episode under the Terror Beauseant, Vicomte de The Deserted Woman Beauseant, Vicomtesse de The Deserted Woman Albert Savarus Bianchon, Horace The Atheist's Mass Cesar Birotteau The Commission in Lunacy Lost Illusions A Distinguished Provincial at Paris A Bachelor's Establishment The Secrets of a Princess The Government Clerks Pierrette A Study of Woman Scenes from a Courtesan's Life Honorine The Seamy Side of History The Magic Skin A Second Home A Prince of Bohemia Letters of Two Brides The Muse of the Department The Imaginary Mistress The Middle Classes Cousin Betty The Country Parson In addition, M.
He wasn't a pugilist by any means, but he'd watched a number of prizefights on the seamy side of Philly, enough to pick up a few tricks.
Chalking up her seamy underlife experiences, however insignificant, with Anna made them more special.