sow the seeds of (something)

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sow the seeds of (something)

1. To do something that ensures a certain outcome in the future, especially an unfortunate or tragic one. They've been sowing the seeds of their own downfall with their anti-consumer practices over the last few years.
2. To cause someone to have certain thoughts or feelings, usually negative ones. The over-zealous policing of opposing opinions has sown the seeds of discontent among the population.
See also: of, seed, sow

sow the seeds of something

or

plant the seeds of something

COMMON
1. If something or someone sows or plants the seeds of a future problem, they start the process which causes that problem to develop. An incident then occurred that was to sow the seeds of the invasion's eventual failure. It was this racist policy that planted the seeds of today's crisis in Africa.
2. You can also sow or plant the seeds of something good or something that you want to happen. With this overall strategy, they hope to sow the seeds of economic recovery. Ministers had spent five years planting the seeds of reform. I had planted the seeds of doubt in their minds.
See also: of, seed, something, sow

sow the seed (or seeds) of

do something which will eventually bring about a particular result.
1991 Philip Slater A Dream Deferred Each authoritarian government, groping toward modernization, would thereby sow the seeds of its own destruction.
See also: of, seed, sow
References in periodicals archive ?
PIPPA SAYS: If it's outdoor tomatoes you want, don't sow the seeds yet as temperatures are likely to be too cold for at least three months.
GETTING STARTED: Sow the seeds in autumn or buy bedding plants at nurseries now.
Sow the seeds thinly and evenly and lightly cover with fine crumbly soil.
Affordable access to IT tools help sow the seeds of America's continued strength and prosperity.
5in) deep, water along the drill, then sow the seeds half an inch apart.
5 million of us who aren't part of that culture, they paint rosy pictures of a world that disappeared long ago and then sow the seeds of fear and uncertainty if anything should change.
Alternatively sow the seeds in pots on the windowsill.
Our distributors left armed with the training and tools to accelerate the company's growth and sow the seeds for Brain Garden's growth around the world.
Fill a seed tray with sieved garden compost or a fine proprietary compost, sow the seeds and water.
Pansies are always a reliable and hardy winter bedding plant and if you want to grow your own, now is the time to sow the seed outside in a seed-bed or tray of compost.