go to seed

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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.
See also: go, seed, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: go, seed, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

go to seed


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.
See also: go, seed, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

go (or run) to seed

1 (of a plant) cease flowering as the seeds develop. 2 deteriorate in condition, strength, or efficiency.
See also: go, seed, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: go, run, seed, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
But it has gone to seed, and today farmworkers pay exorbitant rents for a chance to live in near squalor.
John, Caravaggio gives the model his role to play unpersuasively, so that the boy seems not devoured by ascetic passion, but gone to seed, like a boy of the streets, sitting in an uncomfortable pose.
Anderson tells of Che's Argentinean childhood with aristocratic, free-thinking parents, whose fortunes had gone to seed. Young Ernesto develops asthma, which gradually forces this daredevil child who "horrified his parents [by] leaping from high rocks into rivers, and bicycling along train tracks" to move from the capital to the dry air of Argentina's provinces.
She has hardly gone to seed in the 23 years since then - a man could STILL be arrested for what he's thinking when he claps eyes on her.
THE SPECIALS Maida Vale Studios, London "I CAN'T tell you how thrilled I am to be here tonight," deadpans Terry Hall, looking like Dennis The Menace gone to seed in his stripy jumper.
The oncepristine garden has gone to seed with piles of earth standing in the middle of an expensively-landscaped lawn and a former exotic garden, planted by sacked presenter Toby Buckland, now containing just one dead palm tree.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES Series Five Jumping five years ahead, the residents of Wisteria Lane deal with death, unexpected pregnancy, models gone to seed and a would-be murderer stalking a neighbour.
Some of the lettuce had also bolted and gone to seed but the unusual flower heads looked stunning in a vase of statice and cosmos.