Definition for STEM

STEM, n.1 [Sax. stemn; G. stamm, stock, stem, race; D. and Sw. stam; Dan. stamme; Sans. stamma. The Latin has stemma, in the sense of the stock of a family or race. The primary sense is to set, to fix.]

  1. The principal body of a tree, shrub or plant of any kind; the main stock; the firm part which supports the branches. After they are shot up thirty feet in length, they spread a very large top, having no bough or twig on the stem. – Ralegh. The low'ring spring with lavish rain, / Beats down the slender stem and bearded grain. – Dryden.
  2. The peduncle of the fructification, or the pedicle of a flower; that which supports the flower or the fruit of a plant; the petiole or leaf-steam.
  3. The stock of a family; a race or generation of progenitors; as, a noble stern. – Milton. Learn well their lineage and their ancient stem. – Tickel.
  4. Progeny; branch of a family. This is a stem / Of that victorious stock. – Shak.
  5. In a ship, a circular piece of timber, to which the two sides of a ship are united at the fore end. The lower end of it is scarfed to the keel, and the bowsprit rests upon its upper end. [D. semen.] – Mar. Dict. From stem to stern, is from one end of the ship to the other, or through the whole length.

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