From stem to stern
Stem Stem (st[e^]m), n. [AS. stemn, stefn, st[ae]fn; akin to OS. stamn the stem of a ship, D. stam stem, steven stem of a ship, G. stamm stem, steven stem of a ship, Icel. stafn, stamn, stem of a ship, stofn, stomn, stem, Sw. stam a tree trunk, Dan. stamme. Cf. {Staff}, {Stand}.] 1. The principal body of a tree, shrub, or plant, of any kind; the main stock; the part which supports the branches or the head or top. [1913 Webster]

After they are shot up thirty feet in length, they spread a very large top, having no bough nor twig in the trunk or the stem. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

The lowering spring, with lavish rain, Beats down the slender stem and breaded grain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. A little branch which connects a fruit, flower, or leaf with a main branch; a peduncle, pedicel, or petiole; as, the stem of an apple or a cherry. [1913 Webster]

3. The stock of a family; a race or generation of progenitors. ``All that are of noble stem.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

While I do pray, learn here thy stem And true descent. --Herbert. [1913 Webster]

4. A branch of a family. [1913 Webster]

This is a stem Of that victorious stock. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. (Naut.) A curved piece of timber to which the two sides of a ship are united at the fore end. The lower end of it is scarfed to the keel, and the bowsprit rests upon its upper end. Hence, the forward part of a vessel; the bow. [1913 Webster]

6. Fig.: An advanced or leading position; the lookout. [1913 Webster]

Wolsey sat at the stem more than twenty years. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

7. Anything resembling a stem or stalk; as, the stem of a tobacco pipe; the stem of a watch case, or that part to which the ring, by which it is suspended, is attached. [1913 Webster]

8. (Bot.) That part of a plant which bears leaves, or rudiments of leaves, whether rising above ground or wholly subterranean. [1913 Webster]

9. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The entire central axis of a feather. (b) The basal portion of the body of one of the Pennatulacea, or of a gorgonian. [1913 Webster]

10. (Mus.) The short perpendicular line added to the body of a note; the tail of a crotchet, quaver, semiquaver, etc. [1913 Webster]

11. (Gram.) The part of an inflected word which remains unchanged (except by euphonic variations) throughout a given inflection; theme; base. [1913 Webster]

{From stem to stern} (Naut.), from one end of the ship to the other, or through the whole length.

{Stem leaf} (Bot.), a leaf growing from the stem of a plant, as contrasted with a basal or radical leaf. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • from stem to stern — phrasal throughout, thoroughly …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Stem — (st[e^]m), n. [AS. stemn, stefn, st[ae]fn; akin to OS. stamn the stem of a ship, D. stam stem, steven stem of a ship, G. stamm stem, steven stem of a ship, Icel. stafn, stamn, stem of a ship, stofn, stomn, stem, Sw. stam a tree trunk, Dan. stamme …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stem leaf — Stem Stem (st[e^]m), n. [AS. stemn, stefn, st[ae]fn; akin to OS. stamn the stem of a ship, D. stam stem, steven stem of a ship, G. stamm stem, steven stem of a ship, Icel. stafn, stamn, stem of a ship, stofn, stomn, stem, Sw. stam a tree trunk,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To clear the decks — Deck Deck, n. [D. dek. See {Deck}, v.] 1. The floorlike covering of the horizontal sections, or compartments, of a ship. Small vessels have only one deck; larger ships have two or three decks. [1913 Webster] Note: The following are the more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To sweep the deck — Deck Deck, n. [D. dek. See {Deck}, v.] 1. The floorlike covering of the horizontal sections, or compartments, of a ship. Small vessels have only one deck; larger ships have two or three decks. [1913 Webster] Note: The following are the more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stem — stem1 stemless, adj. stemlike, adj. /stem/, n., v., stemmed, stemming. n. 1. the ascending axis of a plant, whether above or below ground, which ordinarily grows in an opposite direction to the root or descending axis. 2. the stalk that supports… …   Universalium

  • stem — I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English stefn, stemn stem of a plant or ship; akin to Old High German stam plant stem and probably to Greek stamnos wine jar, histanai to set more at stand Date: before 12th century 1. a. the main trunk …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • To be on her beam ends — Beam Beam (b[=e]m), n. [AS. be[ a]m beam, post, tree, ray of light; akin to OFries. b[=a]m tree, OS. b[=o]m, D. boom, OHG. boum, poum, G. baum, Icel. ba[eth]mr, Goth. bagms and Gr. fy^ma a growth, fy^nai to become, to be. Cf. L. radius staff, rod …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To put the screw on — Screw Screw (skr[udd]), n. [OE. scrue, OF. escroue, escroe, female screw, F. [ e]crou, L. scrobis a ditch, trench, in LL., the hole made by swine in rooting; cf. D. schroef a screw, G. schraube, Icel. skr[=u]fa.] 1. A cylinder, or a cylindrical… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To put the screws on — Screw Screw (skr[udd]), n. [OE. scrue, OF. escroue, escroe, female screw, F. [ e]crou, L. scrobis a ditch, trench, in LL., the hole made by swine in rooting; cf. D. schroef a screw, G. schraube, Icel. skr[=u]fa.] 1. A cylinder, or a cylindrical… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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