- Also called nth root. a quantity that, when raised to the nth power (multiplied by itself n times), produces a given quantity: The number 2 is the square root of 4, the cube root of 8, and the fourth root of 16.
- a value of the argument of a function for which the function takes the value zero.
- Also called root directory. the topmost directory of a hierarchical file system.
- the UNIX account, having the username “root,” that allows administrator privileges.
- a morpheme that underlies an inflectional or derivational paradigm, as dance, the root in danced, dancer, or ten-, the root of Latin tendere “to stretch.”
- such a form reconstructed for a parent language, as *sed-, the hypothetical proto-Indo-European root meaning “sit.”
- a person's original or true home, environment, and culture: He's lived in New York for twenty years, but his roots are in France.
- the personal relationships, affinity for a locale, habits, and the like, that make a country, region, city, or town one's true home: He lived in Tulsa for a few years, but never established any roots there.
- personal identification with a culture, religion, etc., seen as promoting the development of the character or the stability of society as a whole.
- the fundamental tone of a compound tone or of a series of harmonies.
- the lowest tone of a chord when arranged as a series of thirds; the fundamental.
verb (used with object)
- to gain access to the operating system of (a smartphone, tablet, gaming console, etc.), as to alter system files or settings.Compare jailbreak(def 3).
- to install a rootkit on (a computer, electronic device, etc.).
verb (used without object)
- rooster tail,
- root amputation,
- root and branch,
- root beer,
- root canal,
- root canal therapy
- to send out roots; begin to grow.
- to become fixed or established: The prejudices of parents usually take root in their children.
Origin of root1
- the organ of a higher plant that anchors the rest of the plant in the ground, absorbs water and mineral salts from the soil, and does not bear leaves or buds
- (loosely) any of the branches of such an organ
- the essential, fundamental, or primary part or nature of somethingyour analysis strikes at the root of the problem
- (as modifier)the root cause of the problem
- (adverb) entirely; completely; utterly
- (adjective) thorough; radical; complete
Word Origin for root
Word Origin for root
Word Origin for root
"underground part of a plant," late Old English rot, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rot "root," figuratively "cause, origin," from Proto-Germanic *wrot (cf. Old English wyrt "root, herb, plant," Old High German wurz, German Wurz "a plant," Gothic waurts "a root," with characteristic Scandinavian loss of -w- before -r-), from PIE *wrad- (see radish (n.), and cf. wort). The usual Old English words for "root" were wyrttruma and wyrtwala.
Figurative use is from c.1200. Of teeth, hair, etc., from early 13c. Mathematical sense is from 1550s. Philological sense from 1520s. Slang meaning "penis" is recorded from 1846. In U.S. black use, "a spell effected by magical properties of roots," 1935. To take root is from 1530s. Root beer, made from the extracts of various roots, first recorded 1841, American English; root doctor is from 1821. Root cap is from 1875.
"dig with the snout," 1530s, from Middle English wroten "dig with the snout," from Old English wrotan "to root up," from Proto-Germanic *wrot- (cf. Old Norse rota, Swedish rota "to dig out, root," Middle Low German wroten, Middle Dutch wroeten, Old High German ruozian "to plow up"), from PIE root *wrod- "to root, gnaw."
Associated with the verb sense of root (n.). Extended sense of "poke about, pry" first recorded 1831. Phrase root hog or die "work or fail" first attested 1834, American English (in works of Davey Crockett, who noted it as an "old saying"). Reduplicated form rootin' tootin' "noisy, rambunctious" is recorded from 1875.
"cheer, support," 1889, American English, originally in a baseball context, probably from root (v.1) via intermediate sense of "study, work hard" (1856). Related: Rooted; rooting.
- A number that, when multiplied by itself a given number of times, produces a specified number. For example, since 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 = 16, 2 is a fourth root of 16.
- A solution to an equation. For example, a root of the equation x2 - 4 = 0 is 2, since 22 - 4 = 0.
In biology, the part of a plant that grows downward and holds the plant in place, absorbs water and minerals from the soil, and often stores food. The main root of a plant is called the primary root; others are called secondary roots. The hard tip is called the root cap, which protects the growing cells behind it. Root hairs increase the root's absorbing surface.
The part of a tooth below the gum. The root anchors the tooth to the jawbone.
Become established or fixed, as in We're not sure how the movement took root, but it did so very rapidly. This idiom transfers the establishment of a plant, whose roots settle into the earth, to other matters. [Late 1500s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with root
- root and branch
- rooted to the spot
- root for
- root of the matter
- root out
- put down roots
- take root