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break the seal

slang To urinate for the first time when consuming large amounts of alcohol, from which point one feels the need to urinate very frequently thereafter. I broke the seal too early, now I'll have to go to the bathroom for the rest of the evening!
See also: break, seal

keep (one's) lips sealed

To not say anything (about something); to keep (something) a secret. Please keep your lips sealed about our engagement, we aren't ready to tell everybody just yet.
See also: keep, lip, seal

seal the deal

To solidify, finalize, or decide upon an agreement or the terms thereof. I wasn't convinced at first, but it sealed the deal when he offered to include a 10-year warranty for free. We both benefit from this arrangement, so let's quit stalling and seal the deal!
See also: deal, seal

My lips are sealed.

Fig. I will tell no one this secret or this gossip. Mary: I hope you don't tell anyone about this. Alice: Don't worry. My lips are sealed. Bob: Don't you dare tell her I told you. Bill: My lips are sealed.
See also: lip, seal

seal a bargain

 and seal the bargain
Fig. to signify or celebrate the reaching of an agreement or bargain. They signed the papers and sealed the bargain by drinking champagne.
See also: bargain, seal

seal someone's fate

Fig. to determine finally the fate of someone. His lying and cheating sealed his fate. He was convicted and sent to prison.
See also: fate, seal

seal something off from someone or something

 and seal something off
to make something inaccessible to someone or something. The police sealed the building off from everyone. They sealed off the building from all the reporters.
See also: off, seal

seal something (up) (with something)

to fasten something closed with something. Please seal this box up with twine. Would you seal up this box with tape?

sealed (up)

Sl. settled; secured; cinched. The matter was sealed by Monday morning. The contract was sealed up just in time.
See also: seal

sealed with a kiss

 and SWAK
written and sent with love and care. (The initialism is sometimes written on love letters. Also an acronym.) All her letters come SWAK. I know they are sealed with a kiss, because she says so.
See also: kiss, seal

signed, sealed, and delivered

Fig. formally and officially signed; [for a formal document to be] executed. Here is the deed to the propertysigned, sealed, and delivered. I can't begin work on this project until I have the contract signed, sealed, and delivered.
See also: and, deliver

someone's fate is sealed

Fig. the destiny of somene has been determined. When the driver finally saw that the bridge was out, he knew his fate was sealed.
See also: fate, seal

seal somebody's/something's fate

also seal the fate of somebody/something
to decide the future of someone or something His father's illness sealed his fate, making it impossible for him to go to college. The election of Abraham Lincoln sealed the fate of slavery.
Usage notes: usually refers to an unsuccessful or unpleasant future
See also: fate, seal

your lips are sealed

you will not talk about something He acts like he wants you to ask what happened, and then if you do ask, he tells you his lips are sealed.
See also: lip, seal

seal of approval

a statement or action that shows a good opinion of something We can finalize the trip to China once we get Bernard's seal of approval. With the seal of approval of a government grant, arts organizations find it easier to raise funds.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of seal of approval (an official mark showing that something has been accepted)
See also: approval, of, seal

signed and sealed

1. having official approval We won't get paid until the contract is signed and sealed.
Usage notes: usually refers to an agreement or contract
2. completed or made final He'll make a decision next week, but until then the matter isn't signed and sealed.
Etymology: based on a literal meaning of sign and seal (to put your signature and an official mark on a document that shows it is legal)
See also: and, seal, signed

My lips are sealed.

something you say to let someone know that you will not tell anyone else what they have just told you 'I'd prefer you not to mention this to anyone else.' 'My lips are sealed.'
See lick lips, Read my lips!
See also: lip, seal

put/set the seal on something

  (slightly formal)
to make something certain or complete The ambassador's visit set the seal on the trade agreement between the two countries.
See also: on, put, seal

seal somebody's fate

if an event seals someone's fate, they are certain to fail or to have an unpleasant experience in the future His father's illness sealed his fate - Sam gave up his hopes of a college education and stayed home to run the family business.
See also: fate, seal

signed, sealed and delivered

  (informal) also signed and sealed (informal)
if a document or an agreement is signed, sealed and delivered, it has been officially signed and completed A copy of the will, signed, sealed and delivered, arrived at our house the next morning. There was a signed and sealed statement from the prime minister to confirm the treaty had been accepted.
See also: and, deliver, seal

lips are sealed, one's

One will reveal nothing, especially about a secret. For example, You can trust me with the details of the lawsuit-my lips are sealed. [Early 1900s]
See also: lip

seal of approval

An endorsement of something or someone, as in Our candidate doesn't have the governor's seal of approval, or The new management gave the old refund policy their seal of approval. This idiom was used, and perhaps invented, as an advertising gimmick of Good Housekeeping Magazine, which gave its so-called "seal of approval" to products it endorsed; the products' packaging in turn bore a small emblem attesting to this endorsement. The noun seal here is used in the same sense as in set one's seal on.
See also: approval, of, seal

seal off

Also, seal up. Close tightly or barricade to prevent entry or exit. For example, We're sealing off the unused wing of the building, or The jar is tightly sealed up. Dating from the first half of the 1900s, this idiom uses seal in the sense of "close securely," as one used to do with a seal of wax.
See also: off, seal

seal one's fate

Decide what will become of one, as in The letter of rejection sealed his fate; he'd have to apply to other medical schools. This term employs seal in the sense of "permanently fix or fasten something," a usage dating from the mid-1600s.
See also: fate, seal

set one's seal on

Also, put one's seal on. Authorize, give one's approval to, as in We can go ahead as soon as the boss sets his seal on it. This idiom alludes to the old-time practice of affixing a seal on a document as a form of verification. It also began to be used more loosely in the early 1600s.
See also: on, seal, set

signed, sealed, and delivered

Completed satisfactorily, as in The house is sold-signed, sealed, and delivered. This idiom refers to a legal deed, which to be valid had to be signed by the seller, sealed with a wax seal, and delivered to the new owner. It began to be used more loosely in the first half of the 1900s.
See also: and, deliver

seal off

1. To close tightly or surround something or someplace with a barricade or cordon: The government has sealed off its borders. The police surrounded the building and sealed it off.
2. To isolate someone or something: The remote location sealed the village off from the rest of the world.
See also: off, seal

sealed (up)

mod. settled; secured; cinched. The matter was sealed by Monday morning.
See also: seal, up


See also: seal

sealed with a kiss

and SWAK
mod. written and sent with love and care. (The initialism is sometimes written on love letters. Also an acronym.) I know they are sealed with a kiss, because she says so.
See also: kiss, seal

(one's) lips are sealed

Used to indicate that one will not disclose a piece of information.
See also: lip, seal

under seal

Having an impression or emblem attesting to a document's authenticity and reliability.
See also: seal


A mark of affection on the back of an envelope. Before e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter, people exchanged romantic sentiments by means of handwritten letters. One way to include a final bit of tenderness was to write S.W.A.K. on the back of the envelope. Women often blotted their lipstick over the four letters to emphasize their love.
References in periodicals archive ?
Precisely this type of knowledge is said to be offered by this trade fair, which will be provided with technical support by the European Sealing Association.
Laser cutting, sealing, slitting, micro-drilling, high-speed marking, barcoding, product identification, removing selective materials and kiss cutting.
In a sealing application, the tolerances of all the parts in contact with the O-ring must be considered in order to create an effective seal.
Understanding and measuring this type of response can provide insight into a material's stress-strain properties in applications and how it can affect the test results used to define its sealing capability, using the different test methods and specifications.
Laboratory equipment for heat sealing medical pouches and thermoformed trays.
Ferrotec's vacuum rotary feedthroughs and seals can be purchased directly from Ferrotec and through the company's network of sealing solution sales representatives.
The sealing rings were removed from the mixer after an operating period of 37 months.
The sealing principle if the SSA seals is based on the use of the internal pressure in the mixing chamber.
Company also supplies equipment for blister forming and sealing of PVC, PET and PETG films; skin-packaging machinery from 18 x 24 in.
John Crane -- the world's leading supplier of engineered sealing systems and associated products -- has announced the introduction of a new generation of dependable High Temperature Corrosive (HTC) resistant mechanical seals that utilize an innovative design technology to reliably seal high-temperature process fluids on rotating equipment.
Using new sealing technologies, the SX joint has extended seal life and increased reliability, according to the company.
Thermo-contact welding, high-frequency (RF) sealing, and combination RF/contact equipment for sealing a wide range of plastics.
The new device, which is approved for both diagnostic and interventional procedures, gives physicians an improved method for sealing arterial catheterization access sites.
Further testing and numerical simulation makes for this second article, in developing an under-the-hood sealing application.
Two sealing methods are used: 1) applying heat and pressure to the back of the lidding material or paperboard, and 2) applying heat and pressure to the face of the plastic material.