grass·​roots | \ ˈgras-ˌrüts How to pronounce grassroots (audio) , -ˌru̇ts \
variants: or less commonly grassroot \ ˈgras-​ˌrüt How to pronounce grassroots (audio) , -​ˌru̇t \

Definition of grassroots

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : basic, fundamental the grassroots factor in deciding to buy a house
2 : being, originating, or operating in or at the grass roots a grassroots organization grassroots political support
3 : not adapted from or added to an existing facility or operation : totally new a grassroots refinery

Definition of grass roots (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the very foundation or source You must attack the problem at the grass roots.
2 : the basic level of society or of an organization especially as viewed in relation to higher or more centralized positions of power was losing touch with the party's grass roots

Examples of grassroots in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In contrast to these grassroots efforts, national moments of mourning and remembrance have been rare and fleeting. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 13 Apr. 2022 The unbureaucratic nature of these grassroots efforts leads to a little chaos and occasional mistakes. Michaela Haas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2022 These grassroots efforts – from free book drives to book clubs to lawsuits – differ in method but share a common mission to keep the world of books open for exploration. Tara Adhikari, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Mar. 2022 In some places, city leaders have supported grassroots efforts to reclaim Black cemeteries. Char Adams, NBC News, 11 Feb. 2022 Gabbard joined grassroots efforts against sunscreen pollution, and introduced legislation banning oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawai‘i. Jea Morris, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Jan. 2022 The series will also show how the grassroots efforts of embassies, community groups and NGOs across Europe joined forces to help evacuate hundreds of people. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 28 Nov. 2021 Various groups across the nation are using really grassroots efforts to make sure that children of color get vaccinated. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 10 Nov. 2021 And grassroots efforts in the U.S. are already building such a foundation domestically. Errol Schweizer, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction How about instead putting $100k into a grass roots effort to change the political power in this state. cleveland, 21 July 2022 Leading the movement Rising to global stardom as a leading critic of the west African Franc (CFA), Séba has railed against ‘la Françafrique’ and built a grass roots platform to mobilize demonstrations across much of Francophone west Africa. Tom Collins, Quartz, 6 June 2022 This is a grass roots effort to truly understand the underlying causes and address them. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 As for starting at the grass roots, too often a political candidate will claim to be an independent voice for the people, only to fall in line with party leadership after the election. WSJ, 24 May 2022 Among the most interesting questions for Republicans in the coming months will be: How will the emphasis on social conservatism within the grass roots shift the balance of power in the Party, and how effective will Trump be at co-opting it? The New Yorker, 15 May 2022 What began as a rhetorical talking point on the fringe right is now an article of faith for some in the Republican grass roots, and a tool to stoke outrage and boost fundraising. Rosalind S. Helderman, Amy Gardner And Emma Brown, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Apr. 2022 Berlin has loosened environmental regulations to speed up work on the infrastructure, putting Mr. Habeck at odds with the grass roots of his Green Party. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, 17 May 2022 But many in the party’s grass roots have now embraced a false narrative of the day, believing the riot was the work of antifa activists or a setup by federal law enforcement. Colby Itkowitz And Rosalind S. Helderman, Anchorage Daily News, 15 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grassroots.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of grassroots


1912, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for grassroots


see grass entry 1

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Time Traveler for grassroots

Time Traveler

The first known use of grassroots was in 1899

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Dictionary Entries Near grassroots

grass rooter


grass roots

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Statistics for grassroots

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grassroots.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grassroots

Nglish: Translation of grassroots for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grassroots for Arabic Speakers


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