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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ed Miliband, leader of the UK's opposition Labour Party, is to call for 'Root and Branch' reform of Britain's banks.
A "ROOT and branch" reform of the education system in the Vale of Glamorgan has been proposed in a major action plan.