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 classic literature ?
Its inevitable tendency, whenever it is brought into activity, must be to enfeeble the Union, and sow the seeds of discord and contention between the federal head and its members, and between the members themselves.
PPS is a condition that makes life harder for those living with polio, and its impact will be felt in this country for many years to come, hence the need to Sow the Seeds of Hope, and the planting of seeds is a fun way of getting younger generations involved in an enjoyable and educational way.
It is time to sow the seeds of a few selected plants - indoors.
Summary: <p>Senior Shiite cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah and Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) leader MP Walid Jumblatt on Wednesday stressed on the need to face US-Israeli schemes that aim to "weaken Lebanon's domestic front and sow the seeds of inter-Muslim strife.
The information and experience they have shared with me has helped sow the seeds of what we all hope will be a successful business.
But as he watched his charges learning the phonetic alphabet and transforming dots and dashes into letters, Hutchinson smiled with pride, hoping that teaching the basics of electronics and communication would sow the seeds of future innovation.
In the meantime Catholics can do their part, as Dawson suggested, to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of these secular idealists.