go to seed – English Idiom – Online English Lessons

If a person runs to seed (or goes to seed) they stop taking care of themselves and their appearance.

If a place has gone to seed it has become run-down and neglected.

This idiom has its origins in flowering plants that fade and become less attractive as they produce seeds and then die.

Examples of use:

1. Our old teacher has gone to seed since we last him. He used to dress smartly and always wore a tie – now he looks untidy and dirty.

2. The town I used to live in has really gone to seed. The shops are boarded up and there’s litter everywhere.

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