root - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “root”

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root

noun [C] uk   us   /ruːt/

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
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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   us   /ruːt/

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)
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