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(1)   The part of a tooth that is embedded in the jaw and serves as support
(2)   (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
"Thematic vowels are part of the stem"
(3)   A simple form inferred as the common basis from which related words in several languages can be derived by linguistic processes
(4)   The set of values that give a true statement when substituted into an equation
(5)   The place where something begins, where it springs into being
"The Italian beginning of the Renaissance"
"Jupiter was the origin of the radiation"
"Pittsburgh is the source of the Ohio River"
"Communism's Russian root"
(6)   Someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
(7)   (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
(8)   A number that when multiplied by itself some number of times equals a given number


(9)   Take root and begin to grow
"This plant roots quickly"
(10)   Cause to take roots
(11)   Become settled or established and stable in one's residence or life style
"He finally settled down"
(12)   Dig with the snout
"The pig was rooting for truffles"
(13)   Plant by the roots
(14)   Come into existence, originate
"The problem roots in her depression"

Etymology 1

From root, ‘the underground part of a plant’, from late rōt, from rōt (Icelandic ), from , from , ‘root’; cognate with wort and radix.


  1. The primary source.
    The love of money is the root of all evil.
  2. The part of a plant, generally underground, that absorbs water and nutrients.
  3. The part of a tooth extending into the bone holding the tooth in place.
  4. The part of a hair under the skin that holds the hair in place.
  5. Of a number or expression, a number which, when raised to a specified power, yields the specified number or expression.
    The cube root of 27 is 3.
  6. A square root (understood if no power is specified; in which case, “the root of” is often abbreviated to “root”).
    Multiply by root 2.
  7. A zero (of a function).
  8. The single node of a tree that has no parent.
  9. The primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents.
  10. A word from which another word or words are derived.
  11. 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.
  12. The person who manages accounts on a UNIX system.

  1. The highest directory of a directory structure which may contain both files and subdirectories. In PC-based systems the number of entries in a root directory may be limited whereas the number entries in subdirectories is unlimited.
  2. An act of sexual intercourse.
    Fancy a root?

basis, origin, source zero etymon superuser (See Wikipedia: Superuser), root account, root user

Etymology 2

From wrōten, ‘to dig with the snout’, from wrōtan, from , ‘to dig out, to root’, from , ‘to scrape, to scratch, to gnaw’; cognate with rodent.


  1. To rummage, to search as if by digging in soil, to root out.
  2. To cheer to show support for a sports team, etc.
  3. To have sexual intercourse.

Usage notes
  • The Australian/New Zealand sexual sense is somewhat milder than fuck but still quite coarse, certainly not for polite conversation. The sexual sense will often be understood, unless care is taken with the context to make the rummage sense clear. The US sports sense, so to speak of “rooting for the team” can cause amusement among Australians and New Zealanders. The past participle rooted is equivalent to fucked in the figurative sense of broken or tired, but rooting is only the direct verbal sense, it isn’t an all-purpose intensive like fucking.

dig out, root out, rummage barrack , cheer on screw , shag - See WikiSaurus:sexual intercourse


  1. An act of sexual intercourse.
  2. A sexual partner.

Usage notes
  • The Australian/New Zealand sexual senses of root is somewhat milder than fuck but still quite coarse, certainly not for polite conversation. The normal usage is to have a root or similar.

screw , shag ; see also WikiSaurus:sexual intercourse screw