WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
root1 /rut, rʊt/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Botanya part of the body of a plant that develops downward into the soil.
  2. something resembling the root of a plant in position or function.
  3. Anatomythe part of a hair, tooth, etc., holding it to the main part of the body.
  4. the fundamental part;
    the source or origin of a thing:the root of all evil.
  5. roots, [plural]
    • the original home and culture of a person or of one's ancestors:When he discovered he was adopted he began a search for his roots.
    • the personal qualities that one finds appealing about a place;
      one's true home:returned to his roots after years of travel.
  6. Mathematics
    • a number that, when multiplied by itself a certain number of times, produces a given number:2 is the square root of 4.
  7. Grammar, Linguisticsa part of a word, or the word itself, present in other forms of that word:The word dancer has the root dance; the root of the word extend is Latin -tend-.

  1. to become fixed or established:[no object]Will these plants root well?
  2. to fix by or as if by roots:[+ object]rooted to the spot in amazement.
  3. Agriculture to pull, tear, or dig up by the roots:[~ (+ out/up) + object]He rooted (out) the weeds from the garden.
  4. to remove completely: [+ out + object]promised to root out crime from the city.[+ object + out]to root crime out.
  1. Idiomstake root, [no object]
    • Botanyto send out roots;
      begin to grow:The new plant has taken root.
    • to become established:Her ideas took root and grew.

root•less, adj. 

root2 /rut, rʊt/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. Animal Behaviorto turn up the soil with the nose, as pigs do: [no object]The pigs rooted around looking for food.[+ up + object]rooting up a few nuts and seeds.[+ object + up]rooting a few potatoes up.
  2. to poke, pry, or search:[no object]He rooted around in the drawer for a cuff link.
  3. to find out and bring to the attention of others: [+ up/out + object]managed to root up some very damaging information from the files.[+ object + up/out]to root some information up for blackmail.

root3 /rut/USA pronunciation   v. [+ for + object]
  1. to support a team or player by cheering strongly:rooted for the basketball team.
  2. to lend support:We're all rooting for you.
root•er, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
root1  (ro̅o̅t, rŏŏt),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Botanya part of the body of a plant that develops, typically, from the radicle and grows downward into the soil, anchoring the plant and absorbing nutriment and moisture.
  2. Botanya similar organ developed from some other part of a plant, as one of those by which ivy clings to its support.
  3. Botanyany underground part of a plant, as a rhizome.
  4. something resembling or suggesting the root of a plant in position or function:roots of wires and cables.
  5. Anatomythe embedded or basal portion of a hair, tooth, nail, nerve, etc.
  6. the fundamental or essential part:the root of a matter.
  7. the source or origin of a thing:The love of money is the root of all evil.
  8. a person or family as the source of offspring or descendants.
  9. Botanyan offshoot or scion.
  10. Mathematics
    • a quantity that, when multiplied by itself a certain number of times, produces a given quantity:The number 2 is the square root of 4, the cube root of 8, and the fourth root of 16.
    • rth root, the quantity raised to the power 1/r:The number 2 is the &fracnumer;
      root of 8.
    • a value of the argument of a function for which the function takes the value zero.
  11. Grammar, Linguistics
    • a morpheme that underlies an inflectional or derivational paradigm, as dance, the root in danced, dancer, or ten-, the root of Latin tendere "to stretch.''
    • such a form reconstructed for a parent language, as *sed-, the hypothetical proto-Indo-European root meaning "sit.''
  12. roots: 
    • a person's original or true home, environment, and culture:He's lived in New York for twenty years, but his roots are in France.
    • the personal relationships, affinity for a locale, habits, and the like, that make a country, region, city, or town one's true home:He lived in Tulsa for a few years, but never established any roots there.
    • personal identification with a culture, religion, etc., seen as promoting the development of the character or the stability of society as a whole.
  13. Music and Dance
    • the fundamental tone of a compound tone or of a series of harmonies.
    • the lowest tone of a chord when arranged as a series of thirds;
      the fundamental.
  14. [Mach.]
    • Mechanical Engineering(in a screw or other threaded object) the narrow inner surface between threads. Cf.  crest (def. 18), flank (def. 7).
    • Mechanical Engineering(in a gear) the narrow inner surface between teeth.
  15. British Terms[Australian Informal.]an act of sexual intercourse.
  16. Nautical, Naval Terms[Shipbuilding.]the inner angle of an angle iron.
  17. root and branch, utterly;
    entirely:to destroy something root and branch.
  18. take root: 
    • Botanyto send out roots;
      begin to grow.
    • to become fixed or established:The prejudices of parents usually take root in their children.

  1. to become fixed or established.

  1. to fix by or as if by roots:We were rooted to the spot by surprise.
  2. to implant or establish deeply:Good manners were rooted in him like a second nature.
  3. Agricultureto pull, tear, or dig up by the roots (often fol. by up or out).
  4. to extirpate;
    remove completely (often fol. by up or out):to root out crime.
rootlike′, adj. 
  • Old Norse rōt; akin to Old English wyrt plant, wort2, German Wurzel, Latin rādīx (see radix), Greek rhíza (see rhizome); (verb, verbal) Middle English roten, rooten, derivative of the noun, nominal
  • bef. 1150; (noun, nominal) Middle English; late Old English rōt
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged basis.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged beginning, derivation, rise, fountainhead.
    • 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged parent.
    • 23.See corresponding entry in Unabridged eradicate.

root2  (ro̅o̅t, rŏŏt),USA pronunciation  v.i. 
  1. Animal Behaviorto turn up the soil with the snout, as swine.
  2. to poke, pry, or search, as if to find something:to root around in a drawer for loose coins.

  1. Animal Behaviorto turn over with the snout (often fol. by up).
  2. to unearth;
    bring to light (often fol. by up).
  • variant of obsolete wroot (Old English wrōtan, akin to wrōt a snout) 1530–40

root3 (ro̅o̅t or, sometimes, rŏŏt),USA pronunciation  v.i. 
  1. to encourage a team or contestant by cheering or applauding enthusiastically.
  2. to lend moral support:The whole group will be rooting for him.
  • perh. variant of rout4 1885–90, American.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged cheer, applaud, boost, support.

Root (ro̅o̅t),USA pronunciation  n. 
    El•i•hu  (elə hyo̅o̅′),USA pronunciation 1845–1937, U.S. lawyer and statesman: Nobel peace prize 1912. John Well•born  (welbərn),USA pronunciation 1851–91, U.S. architect.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

root /ruːt/ n
  1. 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
  2. (loosely) any of the branches of such an organ
  3. any plant part, such as a rhizome or tuber, that is similar to a root in structure, function, or appearance
  4. the essential, fundamental, or primary part or nature of something: your analysis strikes at the root of the problem
  5. (as modifier): the root cause of the problem
  6. the embedded portion of a tooth, nail, hair, etc
  7. origin or derivation, esp as a source of growth, vitality, or existence
  8. (plural) a person's sense of belonging in a community, place, etc, esp the one in which he was born or brought up
  9. a descendant
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Also called: solution a number that when substituted for the variable satisfies a given equation
  13. (in harmony) the note forming the foundation of a chord
  14. Austral NZ slang sexual intercourse
  15. root and branch ⇒ (adverb) entirely; completely; utterly
  16. (adjective) thorough; radical; complete
  17. Related adjective(s): radical
  1. Also: take root (intransitive) to put forth or establish a root and begin to grow
  2. Also: take root (intransitive) to become established, embedded, or effective
  3. (transitive) to fix or embed with or as if with a root or roots
  4. Austral NZ slang to have sexual intercourse (with)

See also root out, rootsEtymology: Old English rōt, from Old Norse; related to Old English wyrt wort

ˈrooter n ˈrootˌlike adj ˈrooty adj ˈrootiness n
root /ruːt/ vb (intransitive)
  1. (of a pig) to burrow in or dig up the earth in search of food, using the snout
  2. followed by about, around, in etc: informal to search vigorously but unsystematically
Etymology: 16th Century: changed (through influence of root1) from earlier wroot, from Old English wrōtan; related to Old English wrōt snout, Middle Dutch wrōte mole

ˈrooter n
root vb
  1. (intransitive) usually followed by for: informal to give support to (a contestant, team, etc), as by cheering
Etymology: 19th Century: perhaps a variant of Scottish rout to make a loud noise, from Old Norse rauta to roar

'root' also found in these entries:

Word of the day: check | bond


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