root

The root is the part of the plant that's underground. Dig up a potato, and you will unearth its roots. Just pull them off before you cook the potato.

Root comes from the Latin word radix, which means "starting point," and you can think of the root of something as the place it starts from, whether that's the root of a tree, or the root of a problem. The root of your fear of swimming might have been a scary shark attack movie. If your ancestors come from Guatemala, you have Guatemalan roots. If you dig through a pile of junk, you're "rooting around."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: root

1
nv
(botany) the usually underground organ that lacks buds or leaves or nodes; absorbs water and mineral salts; usually it anchors the plant to the ground
take root and begin to grow
2
nv
the place where something begins, where it springs into being
come into existence, originate
3
n
a number that, when multiplied by itself some number of times, equals a given number
4
v
dig with the snout
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: root
1

n (botany) the usually underground organ that lacks buds or leaves or nodes; absorbs water and mineral salts; usually it anchors the plant to the ground

Types:
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calamus
the aromatic root of the sweet flag used medicinally
cocoyam, dasheen, eddo, taro
edible starchy tuberous root of taro plants
ginseng
aromatic root of ginseng plants
horseradish, horseradish root
the root of the horseradish plant; it is grated or ground and used for seasoning
radish
pungent edible root of any of various cultivated radish plants
chicory, chicory root
the dried root of the chicory plant: used as a coffee substitute
oyster plant, salsify
edible root of the salsify plant
Hottentot bread, Hottentot's bread
thick edible rootstock of elephant's-foot
briarroot
hard woody root of the briar Erica arborea
orris, orrisroot
fragrant rootstock of various irises especially Florentine iris; used in perfumes and medicines
sarsaparilla root
dried root of any of various plants of the genus Smilax used as a flavoring agent
licorice root
root of licorice used in flavoring e.g. candy and liqueurs and medicines
senega
dried root of two plants of the genus Polygala containing an irritating saponin
mandrake, mandrake root
the root of the mandrake plant; used medicinally or as a narcotic
cassava, manioc
cassava root eaten as a staple food after drying and leaching; source of tapioca
carrot
deep orange edible root of the cultivated carrot plant
parsnip
the whitish root of cultivated parsnip
pneumatophore
an air-filled root (submerged or exposed) that can function as a respiratory organ of a marsh or swamp plant
taproot
(botany) main root of a plant growing straight downward from the stem
adventitious root
root growing in an unusual location e.g. from a stem
rootlet
small root or division of a root
prop root
a root that grows from and supports the stem above the ground in plants such as mangroves
Type of:
plant organ
a functional and structural unit of a plant or fungus

n the part of a tooth that is embedded in the jaw and serves as support

Synonyms:
tooth root
Type of:
anatomical structure, bodily structure, body structure, complex body part, structure
a particular complex anatomical part of a living thing

v take root and begin to grow

“this plant roots quickly”
Type of:
grow
become larger, greater, or bigger; expand or gain

v plant by the roots

Type of:
plant, set
put or set (seeds, seedlings, or plants) into the ground

v cause to take roots

Type of:
grow
cause to grow or develop

v become settled or established and stable in one's residence or life style

Synonyms:
settle, settle down, steady down, take root
Types:
roost
settle down or stay, as if on a roost
Type of:
stabilise, stabilize
become stable or more stable
2

n the place where something begins, where it springs into being

“communism's Russian root
Synonyms:
beginning, origin, rootage, source
Types:
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derivation
the source or origin from which something derives (i.e. comes or issues)
spring
a point at which water issues forth
fountainhead, head, headspring
the source of water from which a stream arises
headwater
the source of a river
wellhead, wellspring
the source of water for a well
jumping-off place, point of departure
a place from which an enterprise or expedition is launched
birthplace, cradle, place of origin, provenance, provenience
where something originated or was nurtured in its early existence
home
place where something began and flourished
point source
a concentrated source (especially of radiation or pollution) that is spatially constricted
trail head, trailhead
the beginning of a trail
Type of:
point
the precise location of something; a spatially limited location

n someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)

Synonyms:
ancestor, antecedent, ascendant, ascendent
Antonyms:
descendant, descendent
a person considered as descended from some ancestor or race
Examples:
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Abraham
the first of the Old Testament patriarchs and the father of Isaac; according to Genesis, God promised to give Abraham's family (the Hebrews) the land of Canaan (the Promised Land); God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son
Benjamin
(Old Testament) the youngest and best-loved son of Jacob and Rachel and one of the twelve forebears of the tribes of Israel
Isaac
(Old Testament) the second patriarch; son of Abraham and Sarah who was offered by Abraham as a sacrifice to God; father of Jacob and Esau
Ishmael
(Old Testament) the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of Isaac; considered the forebear of 12 Arabian tribes
Issachar
(Old Testament) a son of Jacob and a forebear of one of the tribes of Israel
Joseph
(Old Testament) the 11th son of Jacob and one of the 12 patriarchs of Israel; Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, which made his brothers jealous and they sold him into slavery in Egypt
Judah
(Old Testament) the fourth son of Jacob who was forebear of one of the tribes of Israel; one of his descendants was to be the Messiah
Methuselah
(Old Testament) a patriarch (grandfather of Noah) who is said to have lived 969 years
Noah
the Hebrew patriarch who saved himself and his family and the animals by building an ark in which they survived 40 days and 40 nights of rain; the story of Noah and the flood is told in the Book of Genesis
Reuben
(Old Testment) a son of Jacob and forefather of one of the tribes of Israel
Blessed Virgin
the mother of Jesus; Christians refer to her as the Virgin Mary; she is especially honored by Roman Catholics
Naomi
the mother-in-law of Ruth whose story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament
Types:
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ancestress
a woman ancestor
forbear, forebear
a person from whom you are descended
father, forefather, sire
the founder of a family
foremother
a woman ancestor
primogenitor, progenitor
an ancestor in the direct line
genitor
a natural father or mother
grandparent
a parent of your father or mother
great grandparent
a parent of your grandparent
patriarch
any of the early biblical characters regarded as fathers of the human race
Type of:
relation, relative
a person related by blood or marriage

n a simple form inferred as the common basis from which related words in several languages can be derived by linguistic processes

Synonyms:
etymon
Type of:
descriptor, form, signifier, word form
the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something

n (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed

Synonyms:
base, radical, root word, stem, theme
Type of:
descriptor, form, signifier, word form
the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something

v come into existence, originate

“The problem roots in her depression”
Type of:
become
come into existence
3

n a number that, when multiplied by itself some number of times, equals a given number

Types:
square root
a number that when multiplied by itself equals a given number
cube root
a number that when multiplied three times equals a given number
Type of:
number
a concept of quantity involving zero and units

n the set of values that give a true statement when substituted into an equation

Synonyms:
solution
Type of:
set
(mathematics) an abstract collection of numbers or symbols
4

v dig with the snout

“the pig was rooting for truffles”
Synonyms:
rootle, rout
Type of:
cut into, delve, dig, turn over
turn up, loosen, or remove earth
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