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plant a/the seed of doubt (in someone's mind)
To cause someone to have doubts, worries, or concerns (about something); to introduce someone to a doubtful or worrisome idea. The candidate was doing very well in the polls six months ago, but it seems that this smear campaign has been effective in planting a seed of doubt in the minds of voters. Recent economic turbulence in the Eurozone has planted the seed of doubt about the strength of the economy's recovery. Every time you act suspiciously like that, it plants a seed of doubt in my mind about your fidelity.
plant something in something
1. Lit. to set out a plant in something; to sow seeds in something. Are you going to plant tomatoes in these pots? What have you planted in the garden?
2. Fig. to put an idea in someone's brain, head, or thinking. Who planted that silly idea in your head? I want to plant this concept in her thinking.
3. Fig. Inf. to conceal something in something. The crook planted the money in the back of the refrigerator. What did the cops plant in your pockets?
plant something on someone
1. to hide incriminating evidence on a person for later discovery and use in prosecution. (Drugs. Allegedly a police practice used to entrap drug offenders.) The cops planted crack on Richard and then arrested him for carrying it. Don't touch me! You'll plant something on me!
2. to conceal narcotics or other contraband on an unsuspecting person for the purpose of smuggling. (This person will bear the risk of discovery and arrest.) The crooks planted the stuff on a passenger, but couldn't find him when the plane landed. Someone had planted coke on me, and the airport security officer found it.
plant a seed
to do something that will develop more in the future I'm not just trying to sell tickets, I hope to plant a seed that will build audiences for opera.
sow the seeds (of something)also plant the seeds
to do something that will cause a particular result in the future Religious conflict sowed the seeds of the government's downfall. Officials say they are planting the seeds for freedom and democracy.
1. tv. to strike a blow (to a particular place on someone). The boxer planted a good blow on his opponent’s shoulder.
2. n. a spy who secretly participates in criminal activities in order to inform on the criminals. Don’t tell everything you know. You don’t know who’s a plant and who isn’t.
plant something on someone
1. tv. to hide incriminating evidence on a person for later discovery and use in prosecution. (see also flake.) The cops planted snow on Bart and then arrested him for carrying it.
2. tv. to conceal narcotics or other contraband on an unsuspecting person for the purpose of smuggling. (This person will bear the risk of discovery and arrest.) The crooks planted the stuff on a passenger but couldn’t find him when the plane landed.