root


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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 ?
After I had signified my assent, Toby, without uttering a a single word, crawled along the dripping ledge until he gained a point from whence he could just reach one of the largest of the pendant roots; he shook it--it quivered in his grasp, and when he let it go it twanged in the air like a strong, wire sharply struck.
On arriving towards the end of the second stage in this vertical journey, and shaking the long roots which were round me, to my consternation they snapped off one after another like so many pipe stems, and fell in fragments against the side of the gulf, splashing at last into the waters beneath.
As one after another the treacherous roots yielded to my grasp, and fell into the torrent, my heart sunk within me.
'Aye, aye, Toby, all in good time: two or three more such famous roots as this, and I shall be with you.'
The residue of my downward progress was comparatively easy; the roots were in greater abundance, and in one or two places jutting out points of rock assisted me greatly.
We warily crept along this, steadying ourselves by the naked roots of the shrubs that clung to every fissure.
"Say," he said, with sudden fierceness, "don't you go fooling around that slide until after I get the trees in and rooted. It's mighty dangerous, and I sure can't afford to lose you now."
In return, Pig-Jaw gave them goat-meat to eat and goat-skins to wear, and sometimes they traded the goat-meat for fish and corn and fat roots.
Then they told Three-Legs and the other land-owners that they would take their share of corn and roots in money, Little-Belly that they would take their share of fish in money, Pig-Jaw that they would take their share of goats and cheese in money.
"But what of the goats and the corn and the fat roots and the fish- trap?" spoke up Afraid-of-the-Dark, "what of all this?
And then we will go out together, the Fish-Eaters and the Meat-Eaters, and we will kill the tigers and the lions and the wolves and the wild dogs, and we will pasture our goats on all the hill-sides and plant our corn and fat roots in all the high mountain valleys.
And all the hunting animals will be killed, and, as Hair-Face said, all the hill-sides will be pastured with goats and all the high mountain valleys will be planted with corn and fat roots. And all men will be brothers, and no man will lie idle in the sun and be fed by his fellows.