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stem1

[stem] /stɛm/
noun
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 a leaf, flower, or fruit.
3.
the main body of that portion of a tree, shrub, or other plant which is above ground; trunk; stalk.
4.
a cut flower:
We bought roses at the flower market for 50¢ a stem.
5.
a petiole; peduncle; pedicel.
6.
a stalk of bananas.
7.
something resembling or suggesting a leaf or flower stalk.
8.
a long, slender part:
the stem of a tobacco pipe.
9.
the slender, vertical part of a goblet, wineglass, etc., between the bowl and the base.
10.
Informal. a drinking glass having a stem.
11.
the handle of a spoon.
12.
a projection from the rim of a watch, having on its end a knob for winding the watch.
13.
the circular rod in some locks about which the key fits and rotates.
14.
the rod or spindle by which a valve is operated from outside.
15.
the stock or line of descent of a family; ancestry or pedigree.
16.
Grammar. the underlying form, often consisting of a root plus an affix, to which the inflectional endings of a word are added, as tend-, the stem in Latin tendere “to stretch,” the root of which is ten-.
Compare base1 (def 18), theme (def 5).
17.
Music. the vertical line forming part of a note.
18.
stems, Slang. the legs of a human being.
19.
the main or relatively thick stroke of a letter in printing.
verb (used with object), stemmed, stemming.
20.
to remove the stem from (a leaf, fruit, etc.):
Stem the cherries before cooking.
verb (used without object), stemmed, stemming.
21.
to arise or originate:
This project stems from last week's lecture.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English stemn, stefn, equivalent to ste- (variant of sta-, base of standan to stand) + -mn- suffix; akin to German Stamm stem, tribe; see staff1
Related forms
stemless, adjective
stemlike, adjective

stem2

[stem] /stɛm/
verb (used with object), stemmed, stemming.
1.
to stop, check, or restrain.
2.
to dam up; stop the flow of (a stream, river, or the like).
3.
to tamp, plug, or make tight, as a hole or joint.
4.
Skiing. to maneuver (a ski or skis) in executing a stem.
5.
to stanch (bleeding).
verb (used without object), stemmed, stemming.
6.
Skiing. to execute a stem.
noun
7.
Skiing. the act or instance of a skier pushing the heel of one or both skis outward so that the heels are far apart, as in making certain turns or slowing down.
Origin
1400-50; late Middle English stemmen < Old Norse stemma to dam or Middle Low German stemmen

stem3

[stem] /stɛm/
verb (used with object), stemmed, stemming.
1.
to make headway against (a tide, current, gale, etc.).
2.
to make progress against (any opposition).
Origin
1585-95; v. use of stem4

stem4

[stem] /stɛm/
noun, Nautical
1.
(at the bow of a vessel) an upright into which the side timbers or plates are jointed.
2.
the forward part of a vessel (often opposed to stern).
Origin
before 900; continuing Old English stefn, stemn end-timber; special use of stem1; Middle English stampne, stamyn(e) apparently < the cognate with Old Norse stamn, stafn in same sense

stem5

[stem] /stɛm/
verb (used with object), stemmed, stemming.
1.
to arrange the loading of (a merchant vessel) within a specified time.
Origin
1895-1900; variant of steven to direct one's course < Old Norse stefna to sail directly, aim, derivative of stafn stem4
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for stem
  • Tendrils are specialized plant parts growing from the end of a leaf or the side of a stem.
  • Irrigate gently, keeping the stem or trunk and crown of the plant dry to prevent fungal infections.
  • To develop a more prostrate form, cut vertical stems back to the plant's main stem.
  • Spread a layer of mulch around the plant, keeping mulch several inches away from the stem or trunk.
  • During the growing phase the plant flowers and begins to develop four or five tillers along its main stem.
  • It may even bolt-shooting up a flower stem-prematurely, resulting in a plant that cannot be harvested.
  • Critical thinking is, more or less, the other anchor of the spider web: the willowy stem of skepticism.
  • Reduce redundancy by putting any words that would be repeated in the answers in the stem.
  • Scientists may have found a better way of turning adult cells into stem cells.
  • stem cells may be the key to a bright, shiny future of cure-all medicine.
British Dictionary definitions for stem

stem1

/stɛm/
noun
1.
the main axis of a plant, which bears the leaves, axillary buds, and flowers and contains a hollow cylinder of vascular tissue
2.
any similar subsidiary structure in such plants that bears a flower, fruit, or leaf
3.
a corresponding structure in algae and fungi
4.
any long slender part, such as the hollow part of a tobacco pipe that lies between the bit and the bowl, or the support between the base and the bowl of a wineglass, goblet, etc
5.
a banana stalk with several bunches attached
6.
the main line of descent or branch of a family
7.
a round pin in some locks on which a socket in the end of a key fits and about which it rotates
8.
any projecting feature of a component: a shank or cylindrical pin or rod, such as the pin that carries the winding knob on a watch
9.
(linguistics) the form of a word that remains after removal of all inflectional affixes; the root of a word, esp as occurring together with a thematic element Compare root1 (sense 9)
10.
the main, usually vertical, stroke of a letter or of a musical note such as a minim
11.
(electronics) the tubular glass section projecting from the base of a light bulb or electronic valve, on which the filament or electrodes are mounted
12.
  1. the main upright timber or structure at the bow of a vessel
  2. the very forward end of a vessel (esp in the phrase from stem to stern)
verb stems, stemming, stemmed
13.
(intransitive) usually foll by from. to be derived; originate: the instability stems from the war
14.
(transitive) to make headway against (a tide, wind, etc)
15.
(transitive) to remove or disengage the stem or stems from
16.
(transitive) to supply (something) with a stem or stems
Derived Forms
stemlike, adjective
stemmer, noun
Word Origin
Old English stemn; related to Old Norse stafn stem of a ship, German Stamm tribe, Gothic stōma basis, Latin stāmen thread

stem2

/stɛm/
verb stems, stemming, stemmed
1.
(transitive) to restrain or stop (the flow of something) by or as if by damming up
2.
(transitive) to pack tightly or stop up
3.
(skiing) to manoeuvre (a ski or skis), as in performing a stem
noun
4.
(skiing) a technique in which the heel of one ski or both skis is forced outwards from the direction of movement in order to slow down or turn
Derived Forms
stemmer, noun
Word Origin
C15 stemmen, from Old Norse stemma; related to Old Norse stamr blocked, stammering, German stemmen to prop; see stammer

Stem

/stɛm/
noun
1.
die Stem (di). the South African national anthem until 1991, when part of it was incorporated into the current anthem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika See Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
Word Origin
C19: from Afrikaans, the call
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for stem
n.

Old English stemn, stefn "stem of a plant," also "either end-post of a ship," from Proto-Germanic *stamniz (cf. Old Saxon stamm, Old Norse stafn "stem of a ship;" Danish stamme, Swedish stam "trunk of a tree;" Old High German stam, German Stamm), from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

Meaning "support of a wineglass" is from 1835. Stem-winding watches (1875) were advanced and desirable when introduced, hence slang stem-winder "excellent thing" (1892). The nautical sense is preserved in the phrase stem to stern "along the full length" (of a ship), attested from 1620s. The verbal phrase stems from, first recorded 1932, American English, translates German stammen aus, probably from a figurative sense represented by English stem (n.) in the sense of "stock of a family, line of descent" (c.1540; cf. family tree, and German stammvater "tribal ancestor," literally "stem-father"). Stem cell attested by 1885.

v.

"to hold back," c.1300, from Old Norse stemma "to stop," from Proto-Germanic *stamjan (cf. Swedish stämma, Old Saxon stemmian, Middle Dutch stemon, German stemmen "stop, resist, oppose"), from PIE root *stem- "to strike against something" (cf. Lithuanian stumiu "thrust, push"). Phrase to stem the tide is literally "to hold back the tide," but often is confused with stem (v.) in sense of "to make headway against, head in a certain course" (late 14c.), which is from stem (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stem in Medicine

stem (stěm)
n.
A supporting structure resembling the stalk of a plant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stem in Science
stem
  (stěm)   
  1. The main, often long or slender part of a plant that usually grows upward above the ground and supports other parts, such as branches and leaves. Plants have evolved a number of tissue arrangements in the stem. Seedless vascular plants (such as mosses and ferns) have primary vascular tissue in an inner core, a cylindrical ring, or individual strands scattered amid the ground tissue. In eudicots, magnoliids, and conifers, the stem develops a continuous cylindrical layer or a ring of separate bundles of vascular tissue (including secondary vascular tissue) embedded in the ground tissue. In monocots and some herbaceous eudicots, individual strands of primary vascular tissue are scattered in the ground tissue.

  2. A slender stalk supporting or connecting another plant part, such as a leaf or flower.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for stem

stem

noun
  1. A street, often the main street of a town or city (1914+ Hoboes)
  2. An opium pipe (1940s+ Narcotics)
verb

panhandle (1927+ Hoboes)

Related Terms

main drag


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with stem

stem

In addition to the idiom beginning with stem also see: from soup to nuts (stem to stern)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for stem

6
7
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