- [often pl.] the part of a plant, usually below the ground, that lacks nodes, shoots, and leaves, holds the plant in position, draws water and nourishment from the soil, and stores food
- [often pl.]loosely any underground part of a plant, as a rhizome
- the attached or embedded part of a bodily structure, as of the teeth, hair, nails, or tongue
- the source, origin, or cause of an action, quality, condition, etc.
- a person or family that has many descendants; ancestor
- [pl.] the close ties one has with some place or people as through birth, upbringing, long and sympathetic association, etc.
- a lower or supporting part; base
- an essential or basic part; core: the root of the matter
- a quantity that, multiplied by itself a specified number of times, produces a given quantity: 4 is the square root (4 × 4) of 16 and the cube root (4 × 4 × 4) of 64
- a number that, when substituted for the unknown quantity in an equation, will satisfy the equation
- Music the basic tone of a chord, on which the chord is constructed; often, the fundamental
- Linguis. the fundamental element of a word or form, exclusive of all affixes and inflectional phonetic changes
Origin of rootMiddle English rote from Late Old English from Old Norse rot, akin to Old English wyrt, German wurzel from Indo-European base an unverified form wr?d-, twig, root from source Classical Greek rhiza, Classical Latin radix, root, ramus, branch
- to begin to grow by putting out roots
- to become fixed, settled, etc.
- to fix the roots of in the ground
- to establish; settle
- to cause (a cutting from a plant) to develop roots, as by placing in water or in sand, soil, etc.
by the roots
- to begin growing by putting out roots
- to become settled or established