root

(redirected from roots)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, 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 ?
Toby's scheme, and it was a desperate one, was to entrust ourselves to these treacherous-looking roots, and by slipping down from one to another to gain the bottom.
The dark and gloomy pines looked down upon them, and, as the wind swept through their tops, a pitying sound was heard in the forest; or did those old trees groan in fear that men were come to lay the axe to their roots at last?
And when the last trump sounds, and Sonoma Mountain and all the other mountains pass into nothingness, that old slide will be still a-standing there, held up by the roots.
Also, others that had taken land gave it to the few that held on, being paid in return with corn and fat roots, and bear-skins, and fishes which the farmers got from the fishermen in exchange for corn.
Nothing was found but the root, yet nothing could have been more strange!
On one such patch he stopped, gathered a bunch of moss in his big gnarled hands, and ripped it out by the roots.
And when the sun was up I was scorched, and because I had no root I withered away.
Through such a scene as this, the unwieldy machine takes its hoarse, sullen way: venting, at every revolution of the paddles, a loud high-pressure blast; enough, one would think, to waken up the host of Indians who lie buried in a great mound yonder: so old, that mighty oaks and other forest trees have struck their roots into its earth; and so high, that it is a hill, even among the hills that Nature planted round it.
First, I will pierce through the root of your tongue, so that you cannot squeal, then I will cut you to pieces slowly, bit by bit, and in the morning I will tell the people that the spirits did it because you lied.
They put these all together by the root of the olive tree, away from the road, for fear some passer by {116} might come and steal them before Ulysses awoke; and then they made the best of their way home again.
They again took root near the Warricanne Creek, and established themselves there in a fortified village.
When spring came on, the soldiers found a plant just showing out of the ground that looked like asparagus, which, for some reason, they called "Mashka's sweet root.