[root-lit, roo t-]

noun Botany.

a little root.
a small or fine branch of a root.
one of the adventitious roots by which ivy or the like clings to rocks or other supports.

Origin of rootlet

First recorded in 1785–95; root1 + -let Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rootlet

Historical Examples of rootlet

  • At last it lit upon a rootlet of the tree, quite over her shoulder.

  • The obstruction of granite rocks, cannot force the rootlet upward, nor drive the leaflet down.

  • It sent downward a rootlet to get soil and water, and upward it shot a stem to which the first pair of leaves was attached.

    Arbor Day Leaves

    N.H. Egleston

  • Every growing shoot of a great tree is continually describing small ellipses; the tip of every rootlet endeavours to do the same.

    Life of Charles Darwin

    G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany

  • No structure in plants appears more wonderful, as Darwin describes it, than the tip of the rootlet of a seedling.

    Life of Charles Darwin

    G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany

British Dictionary definitions for rootlet



a small root or branch of a root
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