run to seed(redirected from they ran to seed)
run to seed
To look shabby, unhealthy, or unattractive due to a lack of care or attention. Wow, Tim's really started running to seed ever since he had kids. The house has run to seed with those college kids living there.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
run to seed
Also, go to seed. Become devitalized or worn out; deteriorate, as in I went back to visit my old elementary school, and sadly, it has really run to seed, or The gold medalist quickly went to seed after he left competition. This term alludes to plants that, when allowed to set seed after flowering, either taste bitter, as in the case of lettuce, or do not send out new buds, as is true of annual flowers. Its figurative use dates from the first half of the 1800s.
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.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer