root


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
See: basis, bloodline, cause, derivation, determinant, embed, establish, reason

ROOT. That part of a tree or plant under ground from which it draws most of its nourishment from the earth.
     2. When the roots of a tree planted in one man's land extend into that of another, this circumstance does not give the latter any right to the tree, though such is the doctrine of the civil law; Dig. 41, 1, 7, 13; but such person has a right to cut off the roots up to his line. Rolle's R. 394, vide Tree.
     3. In a figurative sense, the term root is used to signify the person from whom one or more others are descended. Vide Descent; Per stirpes.

References in classic literature ?
The gods of the hearth exist for us still; and let all new faith be tolerant of that fetishism, lest it bruise its own roots.
Now I had grown tall and overshadowed him; therefore he would root me up.
Then he went up to it, turned it into stone, and drove it down with the flat of his hand so as to root it in the ground.
Their rifles being thus rendered useless, they were unable to procure food by hunting and had to depend upon roots and wild fruits for subsistence.
Pretty well done,' shouted Toby underneath me; 'you are nimbler than I thought you to be--hopping about up there from root to root like any young squirrel.
The path, which was not an ordinary path and which consisted, for a man, in wide strides from root to root, and for a dog in four-legged leaps and plunges, was new to Jerry.
The next evening, at about the same hour, accompanied by two others whose names are not recalled, they were again on the porch of the Harding house, and again the mysterious phenomenon occurred: the vine was violently agitated while under the closest scrutiny from root to tip, nor did their combined strength applied to the trunk serve to still it.
If they drank root beer or sarsaparilla, I drank root beer or sarsaparilla with them.
I've given him up for my part - fairly disowned him - cast him off, root and branch.
And when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
Sit you here while I search the woods for the herbs and roots that must be our sustenance; and, having eaten, you shall lean on me, and we will turn our faces homeward.
There stands an old tree, cut it down, and you will find something at the roots.