Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stem”

stem

noun [C]  /stem/ us  

stem noun [C] (CENTRAL PART)

a central part of something from which other parts can develop or grow, or which forms a support The stem of a plant is the straight part that grows above the ground and from which leaves and flowers grow. The stem of a glass is the narrow, vertical part that supports the container into which you put liquid.

stem

verb [T]  /stem/ (-mm-) us  

stem verb [T] (STOP)

to stop something unwanted from spreading or increasing: The bank tried to stem the currency’s recent decline against the dollar.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of stem from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stem?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Complete and whole, but you might be interested in these topics from the Full and empty topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “stem” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More