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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.
sow 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 sowing a seed of doubt in the minds of voters. Recent economic turbulence in the Eurozone has sown the seed of doubt about the strength of the economy's recovery. Jim's suspicious behavior sowed a seed of doubt in Jenny's mind about his fidelity.
go to seed
1. and run to seed Lit. [for a plant] to grow long enough to produce seed; [for a plant] to spend its energy going to seed. The lettuce went to seed and we couldn't eat it. Plants like that ought not to be allowed to go to seed.
2. and run to seed Fig. [for a lawn or a plant] to produce seeds because it has not had proper care. You've got to mow the grass. It's going to seed. Don't let the lawn go to seed. It looks so—seedy!
3. Fig. [for something] to decline in looks, status, or utility due to lack of care. (The same as run to seed.) This old coat is going to seed. Have to get a new one. The front of the house is going to seed. Let's get it painted.
Good seed makes a good crop.
Prov. Starting with good materials will help you get good results. Jill: Elsie and Jim are going to have a baby. Jane: I'm sure it will be a good child, since they're both such good people. Good seed makes a good crop. I am sure Robert's business will flourish. He's capable and honest, and good seed makes a good crop.
go to seed
to get into a much worse condition I almost didn't recognize John. He's really gone to seed since his wife left him.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of plants that go to seed (stop producing flowers and start producing seeds)
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.
go/run to seed
to stop taking care of your appearance so that you no longer look attractive I almost didn't recognize John. He's really gone to seed since his wife left him.
seed money(American & Australian)
money that is used to start a business or other activity With $250,000 in seed money they started to recruit executives and advisers for their new venture.
sow the seeds of something
to do something that will cause an unpleasant situation in the future He may be sowing the seeds of his own destruction by using violence against his people.
run to seed
Also, go to seed. Become devitalized or worn out; deteriorate, as in I went back to visit my old elementary school, and sadly, it has really run to seed, or The gold medalist quickly went to seed after he left competition. This term alludes to plants that, when allowed to set seed after flowering, either taste bitter, as in the case of lettuce, or do not send out new buds, as is true of annual flowers. Its figurative use dates from the first half of the 1800s.