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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
coming apart at the seams (=failing completely)
▪ She felt as if her life was coming apart at the seams.
falling apart at the seams
▪ The health service is falling apart at the seams.
▪ The private sector now offers another rich seam to mine.
▪ Life is often richer in these seams than anywhere else.
▪ This produced a rich seam of tips, much of it from the artists at the Theatre Royal during rehearsals.
▪ Logically, a far richer recruitment seam is available where case management is a day-to-day activity-in solicitors' private practice.
▪ Press the seam allowance to one side.
▪ Turn under the raw edge of the top seam allowance and tack in place over the trimmed edge.
▪ Also cut one from interfacing, without a seam allowance.
▪ Turn in the raw edges of both seam allowances towards each other and match the folded edges.
▪ Press seam allowance to the wrong side on the lining and notch out in the same way.
▪ Trim seam allowances and clip around curve.
▪ The sedimentary rocks, with their coal seams, have been folded and faulted.
▪ Table 3. 2 provides individual estimate for gaseous coal seams with the geometric mean used wherever a wide spread is given.
▪ The buried trees became coal seams and the mud and sands turned to shale and sandstone.
▪ Claystones and siltstones containing finely dispersed coaly matter are considered to be good sources - besides many coal seams.
▪ He proposes that the coal seams should be worked in the advance.
▪ Beneath them the coal seams are buried and preserved for our miners today.
▪ They plan to pump a suspension of catalysts in steam and air or hydrogen, down into a coal seam.
▪ It was badly ripped in the back, in the side seams.
▪ In this case you may want to centre the pattern around the centre of the machine even if this means mismatching side seams.
▪ With a vertical pattern like this there is a further point to consider, the side seams.
▪ Very slowly, its side seam split open and a flute rolled quietly out on to the floor.
▪ Complete herringbone stitching at the lower part of side seams, above the mitres.
▪ Schools are often bursting at the seams.
▪ Our neighborhood looked like a refugee camp, bursting its seams.
▪ Bedford was already bursting at the seams with refugees of all kinds.
▪ As it is, the Shishu Bhawans seem to be bursting at their seams.
▪ The island couldn't be bursting at the seams, surely?
▪ She was an idiot, coming apart at the seams, and she hadn't written a word.
▪ It all finally came apart at the seams.
▪ The leisurewear industry would come apart at the seams, literally, without this indispensable fastening.
▪ In your case I suspect the water is coming through the seams on the bulkhead around the footwells.
▪ It was symptomatic of a system going soft, falling apart at the seams.
▪ Stitch a plain seam on the wrong side of the fabric. Press the seam allowance to one side.
▪ Remove tacking and cut off the selvedge. Press seam open.
▪ Neil's shirt was torn at the shoulder seam.
▪ Although sturdily built, the handsets were being returned because of cracking and splitting at the seams.
▪ In New York and elsewhere, a new race consciousness was beginning to tear at the seams of the civil rights consensus.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Seam \Seam\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Seamed; p. pr. & vb. n. Seaming.]

  1. To form a seam upon or of; to join by sewing together; to unite.

  2. To mark with something resembling a seam; to line; to scar.

    Seamed o'er with wounds which his own saber gave.

  3. To make the appearance of a seam in, as in knitting a stocking; hence, to knit with a certain stitch, like that in such knitting.


Seam \Seam\ (s[=e]m), n. [See Saim.] Grease; tallow; lard. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]


Seam \Seam\, v. i. To become ridgy; to crack open.

Later their lips began to parch and seam.
--L. Wallace.


Seam \Seam\, n. [AS. se['a]m, LL. sauma, L. sagma a packsaddle, fr. Gr. ?. See Sumpter.] A denomination of weight or measure. Specifically:

  1. The quantity of eight bushels of grain. ``A seam of oats.''
    --P. Plowman.

  2. The quantity of 120 pounds of glass. [Eng.]


Seam \Seam\, n. [OE. seem, seam, AS. se['a]m; akin to D. zoom, OHG. soum, G. saum, LG. soom, Icel. saumr, Sw. & Dan. s["o]m, and E. sew. [root] 156. See Sew to fasten with thread.]

  1. The fold or line formed by sewing together two pieces of cloth or leather.

  2. Hence, a line of junction; a joint; a suture, as on a ship, a floor, or other structure; the line of union, or joint, of two boards, planks, metal plates, etc.

    Precepts should be so finely wrought together . . . that no coarse seam may discover where they join.

  3. (Geol. & Mining) A thin layer or stratum; a narrow vein between two thicker strata; as, a seam of coal.

  4. A line or depression left by a cut or wound; a scar; a cicatrix. Seam blast, a blast made by putting the powder into seams or cracks of rocks. Seam lace, a lace used by carriage makers to cover seams and edges; -- called also seaming lace. Seam presser. (Agric.)

    1. A heavy roller to press down newly plowed furrows.

    2. A tailor's sadiron for pressing seams.

      Seam set, a set for flattering the seams of metal sheets, leather work, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English seam "seam, suture, junction," from Proto-Germanic *saumaz (cognates: Old Frisian sam "hem, seam," Old Norse saumr, Middle Dutch som, Dutch zoom, Old High German soum, German Saum "hem"), from PIE root *syu- "to sew, to bind" (cognates: Old English siwian, Latin suere, Sanskrit syuman; see sew).Chidynge and reproche ... vnsowen the semes of freendshipe in mannes herte. [Chaucer, "Parson's Tale," c.1386]Meaning "raised band of stitching on a ball" is recorded from 1888. Geological use is from 1590s.


1580s, from seam (n.). Related: Seamed; seaming.


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context sewing English) A folded back and stitched piece of fabric; especially, the stitching that joins two or more pieces of fabric.(w Seam (sewing) Wp) 2 A suture. 3 A thin stratum, especially of coal or mineral. 4 (context cricket English) The stitched equatorial seam of a cricket ball; the sideways movement of a ball when it bounces on the seam. 5 An old English measure of grain, containing eight bushels. 6 An old English measure of glass, containing twenty-four weys of five pounds, or 120 pounds. 7 (context construction English) A joint formed by mating two separate sections of materials. 8 A line or depression left by a cut or wound; a scar; a cicatrix. 9 (context figurative English) A line of junction; a joint. vb. 1 To put together with a seam. 2 To make the appearance of a seam in, as in knitting a stocking; hence, to knit with a certain stitch, like that in such knitting. 3 To mark with a seam or line; to scar. 4 To crack open along a seam. 5 (context cricket English) Of the ball, to move sideways after bouncing on the seam. 6 (context cricket English) Of a bowler, to make the ball move thus. Etymology 2

n. (context UK dialect obsolete English) grease; tallow; lard

  1. n. joint consisting of a line formed by joining two pieces

  2. a slight depression in the smoothness of a surface; "his face has many lines"; "ironing gets rid of most wrinkles" [syn: wrinkle, furrow, crease, crinkle, line]

  3. a stratum of ore or coal thick enough to be mined with profit; "he worked in the coal beds" [syn: bed]


v. put together with a seam; "seam a dress"


Seam may refer to:

  • Seam (sewing), the line where two or more layers of fabric are held together by stitches.
  • Seam (geology), a stratum of coal or mineral that is economically viable; a bed or a distinct layer of vein of rock in other layers of rock
  • Seam (metallurgy)
  • Seam (band), an indie rock band from Chicago, Illinois
  • Seam (unit), various obsolete units of measurement
  • Seam bowling, in cricket, refers to bowling with the main seam upright
  • Seam carving, an image resizing algorithm
  • Can seamer, a machine used to seal a lid to a can body, such as in paint or food cans
  • Quarter seam, a thread on the surface of a cricket ball
  • JBoss Seam, a Java application framework by JBoss
  • Seam route, a passing route in football

SEAM may refer to:

  • The ICAO airport code for Chachoan Airport in Ambato, Ecuador
  • Sun Enterprise Authentication Mechanism, an implementation of Kerberos protocol for the Solaris operating system
Seam (band)

Seam was an American indie rock band from Chicago (formerly from Chapel Hill, North Carolina). Active from 1991 to 2000, it was led by Sooyoung Park, former frontman of Bitch Magnet. Seam's initial line-up included bassist Lexi Mitchell and drummer Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk).

Seam (unit)

A Seam is an obsolete unit of volume or mass in the UK.

The Oxford English Dictionary includes definitions of a seam as:

  • of sand

  • of apples

  • of grain

  • of glass (or in the 14th century)

  • a cart-load, sometimes of a specified amount such as of straw or of hay or manure.

Cardarelli asserts that it was equal to .

Seam (sewing)

In sewing, a seam is the join where two or more layers of fabric, leather, or other materials are held together with stitches. Prior to the invention of the sewing machine, all sewing was done by hand. Seams in modern mass-produced household textiles, sporting goods, and ready-to-wear clothing are sewn by computerized machines, while home shoemaking, dressmaking, quilting, crafts, haute couture and tailoring may use a combination of hand and machine sewing.

In clothing construction, seams are classified by their type (plain, lapped, abutted, or French seams) and position in the finished garment (center back seam, inseam, side seam). Seams are finished with a variety of techniques to prevent raveling of raw fabric edges and to neaten the inside of garments.

Usage examples of "seam".

I heard a short, sharp cry behind me, a fall, and turning saw an awful face rushing upon me,--not human, not animal, but hellish, brown, seamed with red branching scars, red drops starting out upon it, and the lidless eyes ablaze.

Because we live on the seam between formula and mystery, because I can recognize in the harmonic vicissitudes the hummable tune is put through some similar, metaphorical bend, music marks out the way all messages go.

Through the bars of the cage, Marchpane saw among the layers of schist a seam of glass catch at the lamplight, and then another.

I rolled over the thwart and into the bottom of the boat, Iying there with chattering teeth and quietly freeing the marlinspike from its resting place along the seam of my trouser leg, where I had tied it with spun yarn.

The fuselage was light plywood, a monocoque hull factory-made in two pieces and then fastened together along a central seam, much stronger than the old fabric models and extremely simple to make, which was crucial these days.

The front-seat passenger, a rugged mountainy man with forty years of living ground into the seams of his face, was crying.

The seams had been overstitched with running strips of leather knotwork.

Eurohiking, our bodies ready to burst from within the frayed seams of our overworn garments washed irregularly in bidets spanning the continent.

From the way he fell, dead weight, a falling ingot or a sack of meal dropped from the haymow that shudders the barn and bursts its own seams, Prew knew.

Natalia would have to resew the seam, and she was much less neat than Anna.

The sea-water splashed in through the scuppers and through the ports, or leaked in, a little at a time, through the seams.

But she was barefoot, and white scars seamed her ribs, licking down between breast and second nipple, familiar on the dark skin.

Right at the point where it had devoured half of the building it was Seamed to.

The quick aging of Kolnar had seamed and scored it, until the starved hunger of the soul within showed through the flesh.

His body was matte-black except where the dusty gray of scars seamed it, a gaunt thing of massive bones and muscles shrunken and knotted and still powerful enough to crack teak beams.