I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English rōt, from Old Norse; akin to Old English wyrt root, Latin radix, Greek rhiza Date: 12th century 1. a. the usually underground part of a seed plant body that originates usually from the hypocotyl, functions as an organ of absorption, aeration, and food storage or as a means of anchorage and support, and differs from a stem especially in lacking nodes, buds, and leaves b. any subterranean plant part (as a true root or a bulb, tuber, rootstock, or other modified stem) especially when fleshy and edible 2. a. the part of a tooth within the socket; also any of the processes into which this part is often divided — see tooth illustration b. the enlarged basal part of a hair within the skin c. the proximal end of a nerve d. the part of an organ or physical structure by which it is attached to the body <
the root of the tongue
3. a. something that is an origin or source (as of a condition or quality) <
the love of money is the root of all evil — 1 Timothy 6:10 (Authorized Version)
b. one or more progenitors of a group of descendants — usually used in plural c. an underlying support ; basis d. the essential core ; heart — often used in the phrase at root e. close relationship with an environment ; tie — usually used in plural <
they put down roots in a farming community
4. a. a quantity taken an indicated number of times as an equal factor <
2 is a fourth root of 16
b. a number that reduces an equation to an identity when it is substituted for one variable 5. a. the lower part ; base b. the part by which an object is attached to something else 6. the simple element inferred as the basis from which a word is derived by phonetic change or by extension (as composition or the addition of an affix or inflectional ending) 7. the lowest tone of a chord (as C in a C minor chord) when the tones are arranged in ascending thirds Synonyms: see originrooted adjectiverootedness nounrootless adjectiverootlessness nounrootlike adjective II. verb Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to furnish with or enable to develop roots b. to fix or implant by or as if by roots 2. to remove altogether by or as if by pulling out by the roots — usually used with out <
root out dissenters
intransitive verb 1. to grow roots or take root 2. to have an origin or base III. verb Etymology: alteration of wroot, from Middle English wroten, from Old English wrōtan; akin to Old High German ruozzan to root Date: 1532 intransitive verb 1. to turn up or dig in the earth with the snout ; grub 2. to poke or dig about transitive verb to turn over, dig up, or discover and bring to light — usually used with out <
root out the cause of the problem
IV. intransitive verb Etymology: perhaps alteration of 2rout Date: 1889 1. to noisily applaud or encourage a contestant or team ; cheer 2. to wish the success of or lend support to someone or something • rooter noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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