seal

A seal can be either the cute mammal at the aquarium balancing a beach ball on its nose, or the fancy stamp on your diploma that acts as an official "seal of approval" from your school.

Seal is a tricky word since its meanings are so diverse. One type of seal lives in water, coming ashore to breed, give birth, and nurse their young. The largest type of seal — the elephant seal — can weigh 6,000 pounds! On the other hand, seal can also mean a stamp that may be placed on a document to show that the document is official and authentic. And, if you want to make sure that your document is safe in its envelope, you might need to seal (make tight) the envelope with some tape.

Definitions of seal
  1. noun
    fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters
    synonyms: sealing wax
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    type of:
    fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
    restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
  2. noun
    fastener that provides a tight and perfect closure
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    types:
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    break seal
    a seal that must be broken when first used and cannot easily be resealed
    gasket
    seal consisting of a ring for packing pistons or sealing a pipe joint
    piston ring
    seal consisting of a split metal ring that seals the gap between a piston and the cylinder wall
    washer
    seal consisting of a flat disk placed to prevent leakage
    head gasket
    a gasket to seal a cylinder head
    lock ring, lock washer, lockring
    washer that prevents a nut from loosening
    O ring
    a gasket consisting of a flat ring of rubber or plastic; used to seal a joint against high pressure
    type of:
    fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
    restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
  3. noun
    a finishing coat applied to exclude moisture
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    types:
    undercoat, underseal
    seal consisting of a coating of a tar or rubberlike material on the underside of a motor vehicle to retard corrosion
    type of:
    coat, coating
    a thin layer covering something
  4. noun
    a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents
    synonyms: stamp
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    examples:
    Great Seal of the United States
    the seal of the United States government
    types:
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    bulla
    the round leaden seal affixed to a papal bull
    cachet
    a seal on a letter
    great seal
    the principal seal of a government, symbolizing authority or sovereignty
    handstamp, rubber stamp
    a stamp (usually made of rubber) for imprinting a mark or design by hand
    signet
    a seal (especially one used to mark documents officially)
    type of:
    device
    any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)
  5. noun
    a stamp affixed to a document (as to attest to its authenticity or to seal it)
    “the warrant bore the sheriff's seal
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    type of:
    impression, stamp
    a symbol that is the result of printing or engraving
  6. noun
    an indication of approved or superior status
    synonyms: cachet, seal of approval
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    type of:
    accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
  7. verb
    close with or as if with a seal
    “She sealed the letter with hot wax”
    Synonyms:
    seal off
    make tight; secure against leakage
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    Antonyms:
    unseal
    break the seal of
    type of:
    close, fill up
    fill or stop up
  8. verb
    affix a seal to
    seal the letter”
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    type of:
    affix, stick on
    attach to
  9. verb
    make tight; secure against leakage
    seal the windows”
    synonyms: seal off
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    types:
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    reseal
    seal again
    waterproof
    make watertight
    calk, caulk
    seal with caulking
    pack
    seal with packing
    type of:
    close, shut
    move so that an opening or passage is obstructed; make shut
  10. verb
    cover with varnish
    synonyms: varnish
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    types:
    shellac, shellack
    cover with shellac
    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
  11. verb
    decide irrevocably
    sealing dooms”
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    type of:
    decide, determine, make up one's mind
    reach, make, or come to a decision about something
  12. noun
    any of numerous marine mammals that come on shore to breed; chiefly of cold regions
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    types:
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    crab-eating seal, crabeater seal
    silvery grey Antarctic seal subsisting on crustaceans
    eared seal
    pinniped mammal having external ear flaps and hind limbs used for locomotion on land; valued for its soft underfur
    earless seal, hair seal, true seal
    any of several seals lacking external ear flaps and having a stiff hairlike coat with hind limbs reduced to swimming flippers
    fur seal
    eared seal of the southern hemisphere; the thick soft underfur is the source of sealskin
    fur seal
    an eared seal of the northern Pacific
    sea lion
    any of several large eared seals of the northern Pacific related to fur seals but lacking their valuable coat
    Phoca vitulina, common seal, harbor seal
    small spotted seal of coastal waters of the northern hemisphere
    Pagophilus groenlandicus, harp seal
    common Arctic seal; the young are all white
    elephant seal, sea elephant
    either of two large northern Atlantic earless seals having snouts like trunks
    Erignathus barbatus, bearded seal, squareflipper square flipper
    medium-sized greyish to yellow seal with bristles each side of muzzle; of the Arctic Ocean
    Cystophora cristata, bladdernose, hooded seal
    medium-sized blackish-grey seal with large inflatable sac on the head; of Arctic and northern Atlantic waters
    type of:
    pinnatiped, pinniped, pinniped mammal
    aquatic carnivorous mammal having a streamlined body specialized for swimming with limbs modified as flippers
  13. noun
    the pelt or fur (especially the underfur) of a seal
    “a coat of seal
    synonyms: sealskin
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    type of:
    fur, pelt
    the dressed hairy coat of a mammal
  14. verb
    hunt seals
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    type of:
    hunt, hunt down, run, track down
    pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
Word Family