Deep-seeded vs. deep-seated

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Deep-seeded almost makes sense in a metaphorical way (though seeds sown too deeply won’t grow), but deep-seated is the term you’re looking for. The phrasal adjective (usually requiring a hyphen) simply indicates that something is seated (in the sense fixed firmly in place) deeply in something else. The OED defines it as having its seat far beneath the surface.1


These writers use deep-seated well:

The work of deep-seated, sustainable change remains the hardest work there is. [Harvard Business Review]

The second post was about the nature of conflict in America over deep-seated beliefs. [Joseph Robert Lewis (link now dead)]

But despite that, there are deep-seated problems, says the report. [BBC News]

And, just for fun, here are a few examples of deep-seeded used in place of deep-seated:

If that isn’t true, I at least hope that my deep seeded fascination with pop culture has made you feel better about what you do in your free time. [The Maneater]

Montaner maintains that deep-seeded discrimination and stigma has resulted in decreasing interest in the disease. [Toronto Star]

And when I say resent, I mean resent with a deep-seeded, unhealthy anger that I can’t really explain. [Huffington Post]

We also found a funny instance of deep-seeded that actually makes sense:

In a pair of games between deep-seeded TCC rivals, the Bevier Lady Cat and Wildcat basketball teams played host to a non-TCC match with the La Plata Bulldogs. [Macon Chronicle-Herald (link now dead)]

So deep-seeded is a useful phrasal adjective after all—if we’re talking about sports rankings.


1. ^

Other resources

“Deep-seeded ignorance” at Language Log

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