Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “root”

See all translations

root

noun [C] uk   /ruːt/ us  

root noun [C] (PLANT PART)

B2 the part of a plant that grows down into the earth to get water and food and holds the plant firm in the ground
More examples

root noun [C] (CAUSE/ORIGIN)

C1 the cause or origin of something bad: We must get to the root of (= discover the cause of) this problem. What is/lies at the root of the problem is their lack of interest. The high crime rate has its roots in unemployment and poverty. So what's the root cause of his anxiety?roots B2 [plural] origins: The city of Tours can trace its roots back to Roman times.
See also

root noun [C] (OF TOOTH/HAIR/NAIL)

the part of a hair, tooth, or nail that is under the skin

root noun [C] (OF WORD)

specialized language The root of a word is its most basic form, to which other parts, such as affixes, can be added: The root of the word "sitting" is "sit".

root noun [C] (IN MATHEMATICS)

specialized mathematics a solution of some equations (= mathematical statements) specialized A root of a particular number is another number that, when multiplied by itself one or more times, reaches that number: The square root of 64 is 8, and the cube root of 64 is 4.

root

verb uk   /ruːt/ us  

root verb (LOOK)

[I usually + adv/prep] to look for something by turning things over: She rooted through/among the papers on her desk. The pigs rooted for acorns in the forest.

root verb (PLANT)

[I] to grow roots: The trees failed to root and so died.
Translations of “root”
in Korean 뿌리…
in Arabic جِذْر…
in French racine, origine, racines…
in Turkish kök, çil, saç/diş kökü…
in Italian radice…
in Chinese (Traditional) 植物的一部分, 根,根莖,根塊…
in Russian корень…
in Polish korzeń, cebulka…
in Spanish raíz, origen, raíces…
in Portuguese raiz…
in German die Wurzel, der Ursprung…
in Catalan arrel…
in Japanese (植物の)根…
in Chinese (Simplified) 植物的一部分, 根,根茎,根块…
(Definition of root from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of root?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “root” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More