Old English sed, sæd "that which may be sown; an individual grain of seed; offspring, posterity," from Proto-Germanic *sediz "seed" (cf. Old Norse sað, Old Saxon sad, Old Frisian sed, Middle Dutch saet, Old High German sat, German Saat), from PIE *se-ti- "sowing," from root *se- (1) "to sow" (see sow (v.)). Figurative use in Old English. Meaning "offspring, progeny" rare now except in biblical use. Meaning "semen" is from c.1300. For sporting sense, see seed (v.).