[tap-root, -roo t]

Origin of taproot

First recorded in 1595–1605; tap2 + root1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for taproot

Historical Examples of taproot

British Dictionary definitions for taproot


  1. the large single root of plants such as the dandelion, which grows vertically downwards and bears smaller lateral roots
Derived Formstaprooted, adjective

Word Origin for taproot

C17: from tap ² + root 1
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 taproot

c.1600, from tap (n.) + root (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

taproot in Science


[tăprōōt′, -rut′]
  1. The main root in gymnosperms, eudicotyledons, and magnoliids, usually stouter than the lateral roots and growing straight downward from the stem. The taproot develops from the primary root. The taproot and its lateral roots penetrate deeper into the soil than the fibrous roots characteristic of monocotyledons. Compare fibrous root.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

taproot in Culture


The single deep root of many deciduous trees that forms the basis for their root systems.


Figuratively, a “taproot” is the source of an idea or work: “His childhood in Wales is the taproot of his poetry.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.