go to seed
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Related to go to seed: run to seed
go to seed
To look shabby, unhealthy, or unattractive due to a lack of care or attention. Wow, Tim's really started going to seed ever since he had kids. The house has gone to seed with those college kids living there.
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.
go to seedor
run to seed
1. If someone goes to seed or runs to seed, they allow themselves to become fat, unhealthy and unattractive as they get older. He was big and fleshy, like an athlete gone to seed. Once he had carried a lot of muscle but now he was running to seed.
2. If a place goes to seed or runs to seed, it becomes dirty and untidy because people stop taking care of it. The report painted a depressing picture of an America going to seed, its bridges and roads falling apart, its national parks neglected. When she died, the house went to seed. Note: When vegetables such as lettuce go to seed, they produce flowers and seeds, and are no longer fit to eat.
go (or run) to seed1 (of a plant) cease flowering as the seeds develop. 2 deteriorate in condition, strength, or efficiency.
go/run to ˈseed(informal) (of a person) become untidy or dirty because you no longer care about your appearance, etc: I was very surprised when I saw her. She has really run to seed in the last few months.This idiom refers to the fact that when the flower in a plant dies, seeds are produced.
run to seed, to
To become old and decrepit. Plants that are allowed to set seed after flowering either become bitter to the taste (lettuce) or will not bloom as well the following year (daffodils, tulips). Henry Fielding used the term figuratively in an essay of 1740: “For Virtue itself by growing too exuberant and . . . by running to seed changes its very nature.”
See also: run