AskDefine | Define seal

Dictionary Definition



1 fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters [syn: sealing wax]
2 a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents [syn: stamp]
3 the pelt or fur (especially the underfur) of a seal; "a coat of seal" [syn: sealskin]
4 a member of a Naval Special Warfare unit who is trained for unconventional warfare; "SEAL is an acronym for Sea Air and Land" [syn: Navy SEAL]
5 a stamp affixed to a document (as to attest to its authenticity or to seal it); "the warrant bore the sheriff's seal"
6 an indication of approved or superior status [syn: cachet, seal of approval]
7 a finishing coat applied to exclude moisture
8 fastener that provides a tight and perfect closure
9 any of numerous marine mammals that come on shore to breed; chiefly of cold regions


1 close with or as if with a seal; "She sealed the letter with hot wax" [ant: unseal]
2 make tight; secure against leakage; "seal the windows" [syn: seal off]
3 decide irrevocably; "sealing dooms"
4 affix a seal to; "seal the letter"
5 cover with varnish [syn: varnish]
6 hunt seals

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /siːl/, /si:l/

Etymology 1

From an inflectional form of seolh


  1. A pinniped, a large marine fish-eating mammal.
    The seals in the harbor looked better than they smelled.


  1. To hunt seals

Etymology 2

Anglo-Norman, from seel (modern French sceau), from sigillum, a diminutive of signum, sign


  1. A design associated with a government or governmental office.
    The front of the podium bore the presidential seal.
  2. Something which will be visibly damaged if a covering or container is opened, and which may or may not bear an official design. (See the Wikipedia article)
    The result was declared invalid, as the seal on the meter had been broken.
  3. Something designed to prevent liquids or gases from leaking through a joint.
    The canister is leaking. I think the main seal needs to be replaced.
  4. (generally singular) Security against leakage.
    Close the lid tightly to get a good seal.
Derived terms
Related terms
pattern, design
  • Arabic:
  • Bosnian: pečat
  • Chinese: 印章 (yìnzhāng)
  • Croatian: pečat
  • Dutch: zegel
  • Finnish: tunnus, sinetti
  • French: sceau
  • German: Siegel, Petschaft
  • Hungarian: pecsét
  • Italian: sigillo
  • Japanese: (はん, han), 印章 (いんしょう, inshō), (ji), 封印 (ふういん, fūin)
  • Korean: 도장 (dojang)
  • Latin: sigillum
  • Portuguese: selo
  • Russian: печать (pečát’)
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: печат
    Latin: pečat
  • Slovene: pečat
  • Spanish: sello
  • Swedish: sigill
  • Ukrainian: печать (pečát’)
something which will be visibly damaged when a container is opened
  • Finnish: sinetti
  • German: Siegel
  • Slovene: pečat
  • Swedish: sigill
something designed to prevent liquids or gasses from leaking
security against leakage


  1. To place a seal on (a document).
  2. To fasten (something) so that it cannot be opened without visible damage.
    The cover is sealed. If anyone tries to open it, we'll know about it.
  3. To prevent people or vehicles from crossing (something).
    The border has been sealed until the fugitives are found.
  4. To close securely to prevent leakage.
    I've sealed the bottle to keep the contents fresh.
  5. To place in a sealed container.
    I've sealed the documents in this envelope.
  6. In the context of "transitive|chess": To place a notation of one's next move in a sealed envelope to be opened after an adjournment.
    After thinking for half an hour, the champion sealed his move.
  7. To guarantee
    The last-minute goal sealed United's win.
Derived terms
place a seal on (a document)
fasten (something) closed so that it cannot be opened without visible damage
prevent people or vehicles from crossing (something)
close securely
place in a sealed container
  • Finnish: sinetöidä, sulkea
chess term

See also

Etymology 3

From Old English sǣlan ‘bind’.


  1. In the context of "dialectal": To tie up animals (especially cattle) in their stalls.




West Frisian


  1. hall

Extensive Definition

Seal may refer to:


Modern culture



  • Seal (contract law), a legal formality for contracts and other instruments
  • Seal (device), an official stamp or symbol used as a means of authentication
  • Cylinder seal, an engraved cylinder used to roll an impression onto a flat surface, such as clay
  • Record sealing, the practice of sealing or destroying court records

Science and technology

seal in German: Seal (Begriffsklärung)
seal in French: Seal (homonymie)
seal in Dutch: Seal
seal in Polish: Seal
seal in Portuguese: Selo
seal in Russian: Тюлень
seal in Simple English: Seal

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

John Hancock, OK, X, accept, acceptance, accredit, affirm, affirmance, affirmation, agree on terms, amen, approbation, approval, approve, aroma, assurance, assure, attest, attestation, attribute, authenticate, authentication, authorization, authorize, autograph, badge, bang, banner, bar, barricade, batten, batten down, bearing, beige, billhead, blaze, blaze a trail, blemish, blotch, bolt, book stamp, bookplate, boss, brand, broad arrow, brown, brownish, brownish-yellow, brunet, bump, burin, button, button up, cachet, cap of dignity, cap of maintenance, cartouche, cast, casting, certification, certify, chalk, chalk up, character, characteristic, check, check off, chocolate, choke, choke off, christcross, cicatrize, cinnamon, cipher, clap, clinch, close, close off, close up, coat of arms, cocoa, cocoa-brown, coffee, coffee-brown, colophon, concavity, conclude, configuration, confirm, confirmation, constrict, contain, contract, convexity, cork, coronet, corroborate, corroboration, cosign, counterfoil, countermark, countersign, countersignature, counterstamp, cover, crest, cross, crown, cut, dactylogram, dactylograph, dapple, dash, decide, define, delimit, demarcate, dent, design, determine, device, diadem, die, differentia, differential, dint, discolor, distinctive feature, docket, dot, drab, dun, dun-brown, dun-drab, earmark, ecru, emblem, embossment, endorse, endorsement, engrave, engraving tool, ensure, ermine, escutcheon, etching ball, etching ground, etching needle, etching point, evidence, excrescence, fasten, fawn, fawn-colored, feature, figure, fingerprint, fix, flavor, fleck, fold, fold up, footmark, footprint, footstep, form, formalize, fossil footprint, freckle, fuscous, gash, give permission, give the go-ahead, give the imprimatur, give thumbs up, go-ahead, government mark, government stamp, graver, great seal, green light, grege, guarantee, guaranty, gust, hallmark, hand, hatch, hazel, ichnite, ichnolite, identification, idiocrasy, idiosyncrasy, image, impress, impression, imprimatur, imprint, indent, indentation, indention, index, indicant, indicator, individualism, initial, initials, insignia, intaglio, key, keynote, khaki, label, last, latch, letterhead, line, lineaments, lock, lock out, lock up, logo, logotype, lump, lurid, make a mark, mannerism, mark, mark of signature, mark off, mark out, marking, masthead, matrix, measure, mint, mold, molding, monogram, mottle, nature, needle, negative, nick, nod, notarization, notarize, notch, note, notice, notification, nut-brown, occlude, odor, okay, olive-brown, olive-drab, orb, pad, padlock, particularity, pass, pass on, pass upon, paw print, pawmark, peculiarity, pencil, pepper, permission, permit, picture, pimple, plate, plug up, plumb, point, price tag, prick, print, privy seal, property, pug, pugmark, punch, punctuate, puncture, purple, purple pall, purpose, quality, quirk, ratification, ratify, regalia, registered trademark, representation, representative, resolve, riddle, robe of state, rocker, rod, rod of empire, royal crown, rubber stamp, running head, running title, sanction, savor, say amen to, scar, scarify, scepter, score, scorper, scotch, scratch, seal off, seal up, seal-brown, seam, second, secure, sepia, settle, shake hands, shape, shoe last, shut, shut off, shut the door, shut up, sigil, sign, sign and seal, sign manual, signal, signature, signet, singularity, slam, smack, snap, snuff-colored, sorrel, specialty, speck, speckle, splotch, spot, squeeze shut, stain, stamp, stamp of approval, step, sticker, stigmatize, stop up, strangle, streak, striate, strike a bargain, stripe, stub, stud, style, subscribe to, subscription, substantiation, support, sure sign, swear and affirm, swear to, symbol, symptom, tab, tag, taint, take a resolution, tally, tan, tang, taste, tattoo, taupe, tawny, telltale sign, template, the nod, thumbmark, thumbprint, tiara, tick, tick off, ticket, title page, toast, toast-brown, token, trace, trade name, trademark, trademark name, trait, trick, triple plume, umber, umber-colored, underline, underscore, undersign, uraeus, validate, validation, verification, verify, vestige, visa, vise, walnut, walnut-brown, warrant, will, yellowish-brown, zip up, zipper
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