1887, "special group-study class for advanced students pursuing real research," from German Seminar "group of students working with a professor," from Latin seminarium "plant nursery, seed plot," figuratively, "breeding ground," from seminarius "of seed," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (from PIE root *sē- "to sow"). Also in early use sometimes seminary. The word, and the thing, picked up in England and America from the German universities. The non-academic sense of "meeting for discussion of a subject" is recorded by 1944, American English.
mid-15c., "plot where plants are raised from seeds for transplantation," from Latin seminarium "plant nursery, seed plot," figuratively, "breeding ground," a noun from seminarius "of or pertaining to seed," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (from PIE root *sē- "to sow").
The literal sense now is obsolete; the figurative meaning "place of origin and early development" is from 1590s. The meaning "school for training priests" is recorded from 1580s; the word was used generally in names of places of education (especially academies for young ladies) from 1580s to 1930s. Related: Seminarial.
"husk of a seed," late 14c., of uncertain origin; perhaps related to or a dialectal form of hood (n.1).
1640s, "a spreading abroad (opinion, information, etc.) for acceptance," from Latin disseminationem (nominative disseminatio) "a scattering of seed, a sowing," noun of action from past-participle stem of disseminare (see disseminate). Or perhaps a native noun formation from disseminate. The figurative sense in English is earlier than the literal one of "act of sowing or scattering seed for propagation."
"seed pod" (especially of wild rose), a 16c. alteration of Middle English hepe, from Old English heope, hiope "seed vessel of the wild rose," from Proto-Germanic *hiup- (source also of dialectal Norwegian hjupa, Old Saxon hiopo, Dutch joop, Old High German hiafo, dialectal German Hiefe, Old English hiopa "briar, bramble"), of unknown origin.
"one who sows seeds," Old English sædere; see seed (n.). By 1868 as a mechanical contrivance.
"masturbation," also "coitus interruptus," 1727, from Onan, name of the son of Judah (Genesis xxxviii.9), who spilled his seed on the ground rather than impregnate his dead brother's wife: "And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother." The moral point of the verse was redirected by those who sought to suppress masturbation. Related: Onanist; onanistic.
"edible substance in a nut or the stone of a fruit," Old English cyrnel "seed, kernel, pip," from Proto-Germanic *kurnilo- (source also of Middle High German kornel "a grain," Middle Dutch cornel "coarse meal"), from the root of corn "seed, grain" (from PIE root *gre-no- "grain") + -el, diminutive suffix. Figurative sense of "core or central part of anything" is from 1550s.