[root-lis, roo t-]
See more synonyms for rootless on
  1. having no roots.
  2. having no basis of stability; unsteady: a rootless feeling resulting from economic and social change.
  3. having no place or position in society; not in accord with the environment: the homeless, rootless wanderer.

Origin of rootless

First recorded in 1325–75, rootless is from the Middle English word rooteles. See root1, -less
Related formsroot·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rootlessness

loneliness, longing, isolation, alienation, unhappiness, rootlessness

British Dictionary definitions for rootlessness


  1. having no roots, esp (of a person) having no ties with a particular place or community
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

Word Origin and History for rootlessness



late 14c., from root (n.) + -less. Related: Rootlessly; rootlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper