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


plant the seeds of something

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 ?
Foreign powers benefit from and extensively use tools such as politics, sectarianism, and racism to sow the seeds of strife among Sunnis and Shiites," he added.
Sow the seed thinly, so there is less thinning out of seedlings to do later on.
In the meantime Catholics can do their part, as Dawson suggested, to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of these secular idealists.
Top news stories invariably sow the seeds which attentive publishers nurture into flourishing newsletters--anything from the oil crisis in the '70s to oil spills in the '80s to the technology craze in the '90s to today's reconstruction of Iraq.
We instantly lose credibility with our fellow citizens, and it distracts us from the main problem: Not that a few corrupt individuals are taking the country over a cliff, but that a system of militarism and corporatism distorts our values, inverts our priorities, and helps to sow the seeds of hatred overseas.
Ironically, their success and growing prominence have helped sow the seeds of the current debate.
But did not his passionate advocacy of the Cold War sow the seeds from which McCarthyism sprang?
The history of mobile gaming 1997-1999: Embedded games sow the seeds