WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
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.
    • a number that, when multiplied by itself a certain number of times, produces a given number:2 is the square root of 4.
  6. 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-.

  • [no object] to become fixed or established:Will these plants root well?
  • [+ object] to fix by or as if by roots:rooted to the spot in amazement.
  • Agriculture[~ ( + out/up) + object] to pull, tear, or dig up by the roots:He rooted (out) the weeds from the garden.
  • to remove completely: [+ out + object]promised to root out crime from the city.[+ object + out]to root crime out.
  • idiom
      take root, [no object]
      • to 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. [no object] to poke, pry, or search: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]

    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:

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