J.w. root


Elihu [el-uh-hyoo] , 1845–1937, U.S. lawyer and statesman: Nobel peace Prize 1912.
John Wellborn [wel-bern] , 1851–91, U.S. architect.
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World English Dictionary
root1 (ruːt)
1.  a.  the organ of a higher plant that anchors the rest of the plant in the ground, absorbs water and mineral salts from the soil, and does not bear leaves or buds
 b.  (loosely) any of the branches of such an organ
2.  any plant part, such as a rhizome or tuber, that is similar to a root in structure, function, or appearance
3.  a.  the essential, fundamental, or primary part or nature of something: your analysis strikes at the root of the problem
 b.  (as modifier): the root cause of the problem
4.  anatomy the embedded portion of a tooth, nail, hair, etc
5.  origin or derivation, esp as a source of growth, vitality, or existence
6.  (plural) a person's sense of belonging in a community, place, etc, esp the one in which he was born or brought up
7.  an ancestor or antecedent
8.  Bible a descendant
9.  Compare stem the form of a word that remains after removal of all affixes; a morpheme with lexical meaning that is not further subdivisible into other morphemes with lexical meaning
10.  maths a number or quantity that when multiplied by itself a certain number of times equals a given number or quantity: 3 is a cube root of 27
11.  maths Also called: solution a number that when substituted for the variable satisfies a given equation: 2 is a root of x³ -- 2x -- 4 = 0
12.  music (in harmony) the note forming the foundation of a chord
13.  slang (Austral), (NZ) sexual intercourse
14.  root and branch Related: radical
 a.  (adverb) entirely; completely; utterly
 b.  (adjective) thorough; radical; complete
15.  (intr) Also: take root to put forth or establish a root and begin to grow
16.  (intr) Also: take root to become established, embedded, or effective
17.  (tr) to fix or embed with or as if with a root or roots
18.  slang (Austral), (NZ) to have sexual intercourse (with)
Related: radical
[Old English rōt, from Old Norse; related to Old English wyrtwort]

root2 (ruːt)
vb (foll by about, around, in etc)
1.  (of a pig) to burrow in or dig up the earth in search of food, using the snout
2.  informal to search vigorously but unsystematically
[C16: changed (through influence of root1) from earlier wroot, from Old English wrōtan; related to Old English wrōt snout, Middle Dutch wrōte mole]

vb (usually foll by for)
informal to give support to (a contestant, team, etc), as by cheering
[C19: perhaps a variant of Scottish rout to make a loud noise, from Old Norse rauta to roar]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"underground part of a plant," late O.E. rot, from O.N. rot "root," from P.Gmc. *wrot, *vrot (with characteristic loss of -w- before -r-), from PIE *wrd-. The O.E. cognate was wyrt "root, herb, plant" (see wort); also cognate with L. radix. The usual O.E. words for "root"
were wyrttruma and wyrtwala. Figurative use is from c.1200. Of teeth, hair, etc., from early 13c. Mathematical sense is from 1550s. Slang meaning "penis" is recorded from 1846. The verb meaning "fixed or firmly attached by roots" (often figurative) is attested from late 14c.; sense of "to pull up by the root" (now usually uproot) also is from late 14c. Root beer first recorded 1843, Amer.Eng.; root doctor is from 1821.

"dig with the snout," 1538, from M.E. wroten "dig with the snout," from O.E. wrotan, from P.Gmc. *wrotanan (cf. O.N. rota, Swed. rota "to dig out, root," M.L.G. wroten, M.Du. wroeten, O.H.G. ruozian "to plow up"), cognate with L. rodere "to gnaw" (see rodent). Associated
with the verb sense of root (n.). Extended sense of "poke about, pry" first recorded 1831. Phrase root hog or die "work or fail" first attested 1834, Amer.Eng. (in works of Davey Crockett, who noted it as an "old saying"). Reduplicated form rootin' tootin' "noisy, rambunctious" is recorded from 1875.

"cheer, support," 1889, Amer.Eng., originally in a baseball context, probably from root (v.1) via intermediate sense of "study, work hard" (1856).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

root (rōōt, rut)

  1. The embedded part of an organ or structure, such as a hair, tooth, or nerve, serving as a base or support.

  2. A primary source; an origin; radix.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
root  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (rt, rt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A plant part that usually grows underground, secures the plant in place, absorbs minerals and water, and stores food manufactured by leaves and other plant parts. Roots grow in a root system. Eudicots and magnoliids have a central, longer, and larger taproot with many narrower lateral roots branching off, while monocots have a mass of threadlike fibrous roots, which are roughly the same length and remain close to the surface of the soil. In vascular plants, roots usually consist of a central cylinder of vascular tissue, surrounded by the pericycle and endodermis, then a thick layer of cortex, and finally an outer epidermis or (in woody plants) periderm. Only finer roots (known as feeder roots) actively take up water and minerals, generally in the uppermost meter of soil. These roots absorb minerals primarily through small epidermal structures known as root hairs. In certain plants, adventitious roots grow out from the stem above ground as aerial roots or prop roots, bending down into the soil, to facilitate the exchange of gases or increase support. Certain plants (such as the carrot and beet) have fleshy storage roots with abundant parenchyma in their vascular tissues. See also fibrous root, taproot.

  2. Any of various other plant parts that grow underground, especially an underground stem such as a corm, rhizome, or tuber.

  3. The part of a tooth that is embedded in the jaw and not covered by enamel.

  4. Mathematics

    1. A number that, when multiplied by itself a given number of times, produces a specified number. For example, since 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 = 16, 2 is a fourth root of 16.

    2. A solution to an equation. For example, a root of the equation x2 - 4 = 0 is 2, since 22 - 4 = 0.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

root definition

In biology, the part of a plant that grows downward and holds the plant in place, absorbs water and minerals from the soil, and often stores food. The main root of a plant is called the primary root; others are called secondary roots. The hard tip is called the root cap, which protects the growing cells behind it. Root hairs increase the root's absorbing surface.

root definition

The part of a tooth below the gum. The root anchors the tooth to the jawbone.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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