stem

1
[ stem ]
/ stɛm /

noun

verb (used with object), stemmed, stem·ming.

to remove the stem from (a leaf, fruit, etc.): Stem the cherries before cooking.

verb (used without object), stemmed, stem·ming.

to arise or originate: This project stems from last week's lecture.

Origin of stem

1
before 900; Middle English; Old English stemn, stefn, equivalent to ste- (variant of sta-, base of standan to stand) + -mn- suffix; akin to German Stamm stem, tribe; see staff1

OTHER WORDS FROM stem

stem·less, adjectivestem·like, adjective

Definition for stems (2 of 6)

stem2
[ stem ]
/ stɛm /

verb (used with object), stemmed, stem·ming.

verb (used without object), stemmed, stem·ming.

Skiing. to execute a stem.

noun

Skiing. the act or instance of a skier pushing the heel of one or both skis outward so that the heels are far apart, as in making certain turns or slowing down.

Origin of stem

2
1400–50; late Middle English stemmen < Old Norse stemma to dam or Middle Low German stemmen

Definition for stems (3 of 6)

stem3
[ stem ]
/ stɛm /

verb (used with object), stemmed, stem·ming.

to make headway against (a tide, current, gale, etc.).
to make progress against (any opposition).

Origin of stem

3
First recorded in 1585–95; v. use of stem4

Definition for stems (4 of 6)

stem4
[ stem ]
/ stɛm /

noun Nautical.

(at the bow of a vessel) an upright into which the side timbers or plates are jointed.
the forward part of a vessel (often opposed to stern).

Origin of stem

4
before 900; continuing Old English stefn, stemn end-timber; special use of stem1; Middle English stampne, stamyn(e) apparently < the cognate with Old Norse stamn, stafn in same sense

Definition for stems (5 of 6)

stem5
[ stem ]
/ stɛm /

verb (used with object), stemmed, stem·ming.

to arrange the loading of (a merchant vessel) within a specified time.

Origin of stem

5
1895–1900; variant of steven to direct one's course < Old Norse stefna to sail directly, aim, derivative of stafn stem4

Definition for stems (6 of 6)

STEM
[ stem ]
/ stɛm /

noun

science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, considered as a group of academic or career fields (often used attributively): degree programs in STEM disciplines; teaching STEM in high school.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stems

British Dictionary definitions for stems (1 of 3)

Stem
/ (stɛm) /

noun

die Stem (di) the South African national anthem until 1991, when part of it was incorporated into the current anthem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrikaSee Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika

Word Origin for Stem

C19: from Afrikaans, the call

British Dictionary definitions for stems (2 of 3)

stem1
/ (stɛm) /

noun

verb stems, stemming or stemmed

Derived forms of stem

stemlike, adjectivestemmer, noun

Word Origin for stem

Old English stemn; related to Old Norse stafn stem of a ship, German Stamm tribe, Gothic stōma basis, Latin stāmen thread

British Dictionary definitions for stems (3 of 3)

stem2
/ (stɛm) /

verb stems, stemming or stemmed

(tr) to restrain or stop (the flow of something) by or as if by damming up
(tr) to pack tightly or stop up
skiing to manoeuvre (a ski or skis), as in performing a stem

noun

skiing a technique in which the heel of one ski or both skis is forced outwards from the direction of movement in order to slow down or turn

Derived forms of stem

stemmer, noun

Word Origin for stem

C15 stemmen, from Old Norse stemma; related to Old Norse stamr blocked, stammering, German stemmen to prop; see stammer
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

Medical definitions for stems

stem
[ stĕm ]

n.

A supporting structure resembling the stalk of a plant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for stems

stem
[ stĕm ]

The main, often long or slender part of a plant that usually grows upward above the ground and supports other parts, such as branches and leaves. Plants have evolved a number of tissue arrangements in the stem. Seedless vascular plants (such as mosses and ferns) have primary vascular tissue in an inner core, a cylindrical ring, or individual strands scattered amid the ground tissue. In eudicots, magnoliids, and conifers, the stem develops a continuous cylindrical layer or a ring of separate bundles of vascular tissue (including secondary vascular tissue) embedded in the ground tissue. In monocots and some herbaceous eudicots, individual strands of primary vascular tissue are scattered in the ground tissue.
A slender stalk supporting or connecting another plant part, such as a leaf or flower.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with stems

stem

In addition to the idiom beginning with stem

  • stem the tide
  • stem to stern

also see:

  • from soup to nuts (stem to stern)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.