late 14c., "to flower, flourish; produce seed;" mid-15c., "to sow with seed," from seed (n.). Meaning "remove the seeds from" is from 1904. Sporting (originally tennis) sense (1898) is from notion of spreading certain players' names so as to ensure they will not meet early in a tournament. The noun in this sense is attested from 1924. Related: Seeded; seeding.
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Definitions of seeded
(of the more skilled contestants) selectively arranged in the draw for position in a tournament so that they meet each other in later rounds;