[ gras-roots, -roots, grahs- ]
See synonyms for grassroots on
noun(used with a singular or plural verb)Also grass roots .
  1. the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file.

  2. the agricultural and rural areas of a country.

  1. the people inhabiting these areas, especially as a political, social, or economic group.

  2. the origin or basis of something; the basic or primary concept, rule, part, or the like.

adjectiveAlso grass-roots .
  1. of, relating to, or involving the common people, especially as contrasted with or separable from an elite: a grassroots movement for nuclear disarmament.

Origin of grassroots

1910–15 Americanismfor def. 1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grassroots in a sentence

  • The energetic use of a roller helps the grass roots to spread out and obtain the mastery over the decapitated weeds.

  • Tossing the prize back to its rightful owner, he withdrew painfully to grub for some more grass roots.

    Kings in Exile | Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  • The earth was hard, and its upper part was filled with tenacious grass roots.

    Operation Terror | William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Although the land slopes, the mat made by the grass roots will keep it from washing away.

  • The people come in here, like they do at Cherry Creek, and think the gold shows at grass-roots.

    The Pike's Peak Rush | Edwin L. Sabin

British Dictionary definitions for grass roots

grass roots

pl n
    • the ordinary people as distinct from the active leadership of a party or organization: used esp of the rank-and-file members of a political party, or of the voters themselves

    • (as modifier): the newly elected MP expressed a wish for greater contact with people at grass-roots level

  1. the origin or essentials

Origin of grass roots

C20: sense 1 originally US, with reference to rural areas in contrast to the towns

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012