Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “root”

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

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 76tyyyyyyyyyyyThe 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.
(Definition of root from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of root?
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 “root” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

fairy

an imaginary creature with magic powers, usually represented as a very small person with wings

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford​,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More