sow the seeds of something

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

plant/sow the ˈseeds of something

start a process which will develop into something large, important, etc: What first planted the seeds of doubt in your mind?The seeds of conflict were sown when oil was discovered on the border between the two countries.
See also: of, plant, seed, something, sow
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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