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.

Primary Meanings of seal

1.
nv
fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters
close with or as if with a seal
2.
nv
any of numerous marine mammals that come on shore to breed; chiefly of cold regions
hunt seals
Full Definitions of seal
1

n fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters

Synonyms:
sealing wax
Type of:
fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place

n fastener that provides a tight and perfect closure

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

n a finishing coat applied to exclude moisture

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

n a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents

Synonyms:
stamp
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)

n a stamp affixed to a document (as to attest to its authenticity or to seal it)

“the warrant bore the sheriff's seal
Type of:
impression, stamp
a symbol that is the result of printing or engraving

n an indication of approved or superior status

Synonyms:
cachet, seal of approval
Type of:
accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction

v close with or as if with a seal

“She sealed the letter with hot wax”
Synonyms:
seal off
make tight; secure against leakage
Antonyms:
unseal
break the seal of
Type of:
close, fill up
fill or stop up

v affix a seal to

seal the letter”
Type of:
affix, stick on
attach to

v make tight; secure against leakage

seal the windows”
Synonyms:
seal off
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

v cover with varnish

Synonyms:
varnish
Types:
shellac, shellack
cover with shellac
Type of:
coat, surface
put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface

v decide irrevocably

sealing dooms”
Type of:
decide, determine, make up one's mind
reach, make, or come to a decision about something
2

n any of numerous marine mammals that come on shore to breed; chiefly of cold regions

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

n the pelt or fur (especially the underfur) of a seal

“a coat of seal
Synonyms:
sealskin
Type of:
fur, pelt
the dressed hairy coat of a mammal

v hunt seals

Type of:
hunt, hunt down, run, track down
pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)

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