• synonyms


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  1. a descendant.
  2. Also cion. a shoot or twig, especially one cut for grafting or planting; a cutting.
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Origin of scion

1275–1325; ME shoot, twig < Old French cion < Frankish *kī- (compare Old English cīnan, Old Saxon kīnan, Old High German chīnan to sprout, Old English cīth, Old Saxon kīth sprout) + Old French -on noun suffix


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

heir, shoot, brood, sprout, branch, graft, progeny, junior, seed, slip, child, twig, issue, offspring, successor, heiress, begotten

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British Dictionary definitions for scion


  1. a descendant, heir, or young member of a family
  2. a shoot or twig of a plant used to form a graft
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French cion, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German chīnan to sprout
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 scion


c.1300, "a shoot or twig," especially one for grafting, from Old French sion, cion "descendant; shoot, twig; offspring" (12c., Modern French scion, Picard chion), of uncertain origin. OED rejects derivation from Old French scier "to saw." Perhaps a diminutive from Frankish *kid-, from Proto-Germanic *kidon-, from PIE *geie- "to sprout, split, open" (see chink (n.1)). Figurative use is attested from 1580s in English; meaning "an heir, a descendant" is from 1814, from the "family tree" image.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

scion in Science


  1. A detached shoot or twig containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.