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Deep-Seeded or Deep-Seated?

Game of Thrones can help you remember the correct phrase. 

By
Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

deep-seated-deep-seeded

@Usedtobeme on Twitter asked, "Is it deep-seated or deep-seeded?”

The correct phrase is deep-seated.

Seat can mean a location, as in the county seat, or a body part that is the center of some emotion or function. For this definition, Dictionary.com and the American Heritage Dictionary both use this example sentence: The heart is the seat of passion

We don't often use the word seat that way anymore, so it's easy to see why people get confused about deep-seated. When you're thinking of something deeply felt or buried, it's not far fetched to think of a seed buried in the dirt. Nevertheless, deep-seated is the right choice. The Oxford English Dictionary defines deep-seated as "having its seat far beneath the surface.” 

Instead of a seed buried in the dirt, think of a big, deep seat buried in your backyard—maybe even a throne like the one in Game of Thrones. That’s a memorable image. 

Image Elroy Serrao (enygmatic), Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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