Definition for ROOT

ROOT, n. [Dan. rod; Sw. rot; L. radix; It. radice; Sp. raiz; Ir. raidis; W. rhaiz, a ray or spear, whence gwraiz, a root. A root is a shoot, and only a different application of rod, L. radius.]

  1. That part of a plant which enters and fixes itself in the earth, and serves to support the plant in an erect position, while by means of its radicles, it imbibes nutriment for the stem, branches and fruit. There are six distinct organs which are capable of entering into the composition of a root, viz. the radicle, the fibril, the soboles, the bulb, the tuber, and the rhizoma.
  2. The part of any thing that resembles the roots of a plant in manner of growth; as, the roots of a cancer, of teeth, &c.
  3. The bottom or lower part of any thing. Deep to the roots of hell. – Milton. Burnet uses root of a mountain, but we now say base, foot or bottom. See Job xxviii. 9.
  4. A plant whose root is esculent or the most useful part; as beets, carrots, &c.
  5. The original or cause of any thing. The love of money is the root of all evil. – 1 Tim. vi.
  6. The first ancestor. They were the roots out of which sprung two distinct people. – Locke.
  7. In arithmetic and algebra, the root of any quantity is such a quantity as, when multiplied into itself a certain number of times, will exactly produce that quantity. Thus 2 is a root of 4, because when multiplied into itself, it exactly produces 4.
  8. Means of growth. “He hath no root in himself;” that is, no soil in which grace can grow and flourish. – Matth. xiii.
  9. In music, the fundamental note of any chord. – Busby. Root of bitterness, in Scripture, any error, sin or evil that produces discord or immorality. To take root, to become planted or fixed; or to be established; to increase and spread. To take deep root, to be firmly planted or established; to be deeply impressed. – Dryden.

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