see also: Root
  • enPR: ro͞ot, IPA: /ɹuːt/
  • (Midwestern US) IPA: /ɹʊt/


  1. The part of a plant, generally underground, that anchors and supports the plant body, absorbs and stores water and nutrients, and in some plants is able to perform vegetative reproduction.
    hyponyms en
    This tree's roots can go as deep as twenty metres underground.
  2. A root vegetable.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 6, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473 ↗:
      […] two fields which should have been sown with roots in the early summer were not sown because the ploughing had not been completed early enough.
  3. The part of a tooth extending into the bone holding the tooth in place.
    Root damage is a common problem of overbrushing.
  4. The part of a hair under the skin that holds the hair in place.
    The root is the only part of the hair that is alive.
  5. The part of a hair near the skin that has not been dyed, permed, or otherwise treated.
    He dyed his hair black last month, so the grey roots can be seen.
  6. (figurative) The primary source; origin.
    Synonyms: basis, origin, source
    The love of money is the root of all evil.
    • 1689 December (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], Two Treatises of Government: […], London: […] Awnsham Churchill, […], OCLC 83985187 ↗:
      , Book 1
      They were the roots out of which sprang two distinct people.
  7. (arithmetic) Of a number or expression, a number which, when raised to a specified power, yields the specified number or expression.
    hypo en
    The cube root of 27 is 3.
  8. (arithmetic) A square root (understood if no power is specified; in which case, “the root of” is often abbreviated to “root”).
    Multiply by root 2.
    • 1899, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (transl.), The New Life (La Vita Nuova) of Dante Alighieri, Siddall edition, page 122.
      The number three is the root of the number nine; […] being multiplied merely by itself, it produceth nine, as we manifestly perceive that three times three are nine.
  9. (analysis) A zero (of an equation).
    Synonyms: zero
    Antonyms: pole
    holonyms en
  10. (graph theory, computing) The single node of a tree that has no parent.
  11. (linguistic morphology) The primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. Inflectional stems often derive from roots.
    cot en
  12. (philology) A word from which another word or words are derived.
    Synonyms: etymon
  13. (music) The fundamental tone of any chord; the tone from whose harmonics, or overtones, a chord is composed.
  14. The lowest place, position, or part.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 10”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      deep to the roots of hell
    • the roots of the mountains
  15. (computing) In UNIX terminology, the first user account with complete access to the operating system and its configuration, found at the root of the directory structure; the person who manages accounts on a UNIX system.
    Synonyms: superuser, root account, root user
    I have to log in as root before I do that.
  16. (computing) The highest directory of a directory structure which may contain both files and subdirectories.
    I installed the files in the root directory.
  17. (slang) A penis, especially the base of a penis.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: raiz
  • Russian: ко́рень
  • Spanish: raíz
  • German: Wurzelknoten
  • Portuguese: raiz
  • Russian: ко́рень
Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: root
  • Russian: рут
Translations Translations Verb

root (roots, present participle rooting; past and past participle rooted)

  1. To fix the root; to enter the earth, as roots; to take root and begin to grow.
    • In deep grounds the weeds root deeper.
  2. To be firmly fixed; to be established.
    • If any irregularity chanced to intervene and to cause misapprehensions, he gave them not leave to root and fasten by concealment.
  3. (computing slang, transitive) To get root or priviledged access on a computer system or mobile phone, often through bypassing some security mechanism.
    Synonyms: jailbreak
    We rooted his box and planted a virus on it.
    I want to root my Android phone so I can remove the preinstalled crapware.

root (roots, present participle rooting; past and past participle rooted)

  1. (ambitransitive) To turn up or dig with the snout.
    A pig roots the earth for truffles.
  2. (by extension) To seek favour or advancement by low arts or grovelling servility; to fawn.
    • 1592, William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, scene 3:
      Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog!
  3. (intransitive) To rummage; to search as if by digging in soil.
    Synonyms: dig out, root out, rummage
    rooting about in a junk-filled drawer
  4. (transitive) To root out; to abolish.
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance)​, William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene iv]:
      I will go root away the noisome weeds.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy 29:28attention en
      The Lord rooted them out of their land […] and cast them into another land.
  5. (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, vulgar, slang) To have sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: screw, bang, drill, shag, Thesaurus:copulate with
  6. (horticulture, intransitive) To grow roots
    The cuttings are starting to root.
  7. (horticulture, transitive) To prepare, oversee, or otherwise cause the rooting of cuttings
    We rooted some cuttings last summer.
Translations Translations Translations Noun

root (plural roots)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, vulgar, slang) An act of sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: screw, shag, Thesaurus:copulation
    Fancy a root?
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, vulgar, slang) A sexual partner.
    Synonyms: screw
Translations Verb

root (roots, present participle rooting; past and past participle rooted)

  1. (intransitive, with "for" or "on", US) To cheer (on); to show support (for) and hope for the success of. (See root for.) [late 19th century]
    Synonyms: barrack, cheer on
    • 1908, Jack Norworth, Take Me Out to the Ball Game
      Let me root, root, root for the home team,
    I'm rooting for you, don't let me down!
  • Portuguese: torcer
  • Russian: болеть

Proper noun
  1. Surname from a byname from Middle English rote.
    • 1969, The Critical Survey (volume 4, page 3)
      In July this year, Mrs. Betty Root, who is in charge of the reading centre at Reading University's Institute of Education, reported 'that there are now more backward readers than ever, in spite of the large number of teaching methods now available'.
  2. Surname for a rote (medieval guitar)-player.
  3. Surname for someone living near a retting place (Dutch root, from roten ("to ret")).
  4. A town in Lucerne, Switzerland.
  5. A town in New York, US.
  6. A river in Minnesota, US.
  7. A river in Wisconsin, US.

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