sow the seeds

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

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.
See also: 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