A stem is a plant's stalk, and it's also a verb meaning "grow out of." So roses have stems, and your idea to give roses to your mom for her birthday stems from her love of flowers.

A stem can be the central root of a word, the supporting structure of a plant, or the thin, cylindrical part of a glass goblet. When one thing stems from something else, it originates or begins growing there: "His vegetarianism stems from his love of animals." An older meaning of the verb is "stop the flow of something," as in "Stem your nosebleed with this tissue!" or "Some people think streetlights will stem the graffiti on that street."

Definitions of stem
  1. noun
    cylinder forming a long narrow part of something
    synonyms: shank
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    type of:
    a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
  2. noun
    a slender or elongated structure that supports a plant or fungus or a plant part or plant organ
    synonyms: stalk
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    the stalk of a pistil that raises it above the receptacle
    a slender stalk that furnishes an axis for a carpel
    corn stalk, cornstalk
    the stalk of a corn plant
    the stalk of a stamen
    funicle, funiculus
    the stalk of a plant ovule or seed
    the stalk of a leaflet
    a strong slender often flexible stem as of bamboos, reeds, rattans, or sugar cane
    stalk bearing one or more sporangia
    cutting, slip
    a part (sometimes a root or leaf or bud) removed from a plant to propagate a new plant through rooting or grafting
    a fleshy underground stem or root serving for reproductive and food storage
    rhizome, rootstalk, rootstock
    a horizontal plant stem with shoots above and roots below serving as a reproductive structure
    the main stem or central part about which plant organs or plant parts such as branches are arranged
    woody stem of palms and tree ferns
    stem of a bean plant
    cladode, cladophyll, phylloclad, phylloclade
    a flattened stem resembling and functioning as a leaf
    caudex, stock
    persistent thickened stem of a herbaceous perennial plant
    supporting stalk or stem-like structure especially of a pistil or fern frond or supporting a mushroom cap
    flower stalk, scape
    erect leafless flower stalk growing directly from the ground as in a tulip
    leafstalk, petiole
    the slender stem that supports the blade of a leaf
    a modified bud consisting of a thickened globular underground stem serving as a reproductive structure
    solid swollen underground bulb-shaped stem or stem base and serving as a reproductive structure
    a division of a stem, or secondary stem arising from the main stem of a plant
    stem of plants of the Gramineae
    halm, haulm
    stems of beans and peas and potatoes and grasses collectively as used for thatching and bedding
    bole, tree trunk, trunk
    the main stem of a tree; usually covered with bark; the bole is usually the part that is commercially useful for lumber
    water chestnut
    edible bulbous tuber of a Chinese marsh plant
    groundnut, potato bean, wild bean
    nutlike tuber; important food of Native Americans
    Jerusalem artichoke
    edible tuber of the Jerusalem artichoke
    edible tuber of any of several yams
    sugar cane, sugarcane
    juicy canes whose sap is a source of molasses and commercial sugar; fresh canes are sometimes chewed for the juice
    rattan, rattan cane
    the stem of various climbing palms of the genus Calamus and related genera used to make wickerwork and furniture and canes
    stem of the rattan palm used for making canes and umbrella handles
    the bulb of an onion plant
    aggregate bulb of the multiplier onion
    bulb of the sea squill, which is sliced, dried, and used as an expectorant
    cuttings of plants set in the ground to grow as hawthorn for hedges or vines
    axis of a compound leaf or compound inflorescence
    an expanded petiole taking on the function of a leaf blade
    stalk bearing an inflorescence or solitary flower
    the fleshy axis of a spike often surrounded by a spathe
    bulbil, bulblet
    small bulb or bulb-shaped growth arising from the leaf axil or in the place of flowers
    a branch or a part of a tree that is dead
    limb, tree branch
    any of the main branches arising from the trunk or a bough of a tree
    branchlet, sprig, twig
    a small branch or division of a branch (especially a terminal division); usually applied to branches of the current or preceding year
    type of:
    plant organ
    a functional and structural unit of a plant or fungus
  3. noun
    the tube of a tobacco pipe
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    type of:
    tube, tubing
    conduit consisting of a long hollow object (usually cylindrical) used to hold and conduct objects or liquids or gases
  4. verb
    remove the stem from
    “for automatic natural language processing, the words must be stemmed
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    type of:
    remove, take, take away, withdraw
    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract
  5. noun
    (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
    “thematic vowels are part of the stem
    synonyms: base, radical, root, root word, theme
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    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
  6. noun
    a turn made in skiing; the back of one ski is forced outward and the other ski is brought parallel to it
    synonyms: stem turn
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    type of:
    turn, turning
    the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course
  7. verb
    cause to point inward
    stem your skis”
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    type of:
    cause to point
  8. noun
    front part of a vessel or aircraft
    synonyms: bow, fore, prow
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    type of:
    the side that is seen or that goes first
  9. verb
    grow out of, have roots in, originate in
    “The increase in the national debt stems from the last war”
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    type of:
    originate in
    come from
  10. verb
    stop the flow of a liquid
    stem the tide”
    synonyms: halt, stanch, staunch
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    type of:
    arrest the motion (of something) abruptly
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