Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stem”

See all translations

stem

noun [C] uk   /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 stick-like central part of a plant that grows above the ground and from which leaves and flowers grow, or a smaller thin part that grows from the central part and supports the leaves and flowers: flower stems the vertical part of a glass or similar container which supports the part into which you put liquid: Champagne glasses usually have long stems.

stem noun [C] (WORD)

the part of a word that is left after you take off the ending: From the stem "sav-" you get "saves", "saved", "saving", and "saver".

stem noun [C] (WATCH)

US ( UK winder) the small part on the side of a watch that you turn to move the hands (= parts that point to the numbers), or to make the watch operate

stem noun [C] (SHIP)

the main supporting structure at the front of a ship

stem

verb [T] uk   /stem/ (-mm-) us  
to stop something unwanted from spreading or increasing: These measures are designed to stem the rise of violent crime. We must take action to stem the tide of resignations. to stop the flow of a liquid such as blood: She tied a handkerchief around the wound to stem the flow of blood.
Phrasal verbs
Translations of “stem”
in Korean 줄기, 대…
in Arabic ساق النَّبات…
in French tige, pied, étrave…
in Turkish sap…
in Italian stelo, gambo…
in Chinese (Traditional) 中心部分, 主幹, (植物的)幹,莖,梗,柄…
in Russian стебель…
in Polish łodyga, pień…
in Spanish tallo, pie, proa a popa…
in Portuguese talo…
in German der Stiel, der Steven…
in Catalan tija…
in Japanese (花の)茎…
in Chinese (Simplified) 中心部分, 主干, (植物的)干,茎,梗,柄…
(Definition of stem from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stem?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “stem” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More