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 Story and images courtesy of Shelly Tygielski, founder of Pandemic of Love, a grassroots organization that matches volunteers, donors, and those in need. Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time, "How Trees Mother Their Seedlings and What We Can Learn About Connection From Forests," 2 May 2021 The grassroots organization of about 4,000 activists was founded in 1974 following the Roe v. Wade decision. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Religious group says Louisville billboard owner removed its 'pro-choice, pro-faith' signs," 30 Apr. 2021 Jessica Anderson is executive director of Heritage Action, a nationwide grassroots organization. CNN, "What Biden did with his Trump inheritance," 27 Apr. 2021 Public comment: The grassroots organization seeking to establish a public comment time at Cleveland City Council meetings said Tuesday that a majority of the council members now support their effort. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Clevelanders gather, relieved to hear guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin: The Wake Up for Wednesday, April 21, 2021," 21 Apr. 2021 Working with a small group of friends and volunteers, Kurmins Gilson launched the grassroots organization CropSwap, where volunteers collected unpicked fruit from backyard groves and donated it to food pantries. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Gelato maker, food recovery agency team up for awareness-raising treats," 18 Apr. 2021 In light of these findings, the software company is partnering with Emojination, a grassroots organization that advocates for more inclusive emojis and supported creator Yiying Lu with both her boba tea and dumpling emojis. NBC News, "Majority of emoji users want more inclusive representation, survey finds," 15 Apr. 2021 Knuffke wanted to drive home the point that Fix SAPD, the grassroots organization which crafted Proposition B, has attracted a less-than-stellar collection of allies to its cause. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Garcia: Castro endorsement gives Fix SAPD campaign a major credibility boost," 14 Apr. 2021 The bill was the work of a grassroots organization, Time Does Not Fit the Crime, made up of people with Measure 11 convictions and their families. oregonlive, "Measure 11 reform bill stays alive in Oregon Legislature but committee formed to discuss revisions," 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction Johnson later worked for eight years for a grass roots group, Supportive Parents Information Network or SPIN, made up of people on public assistance and advocates who worked to end the program. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "End of Project 100% in county marks new era in assisting needy," 9 May 2021 The vast majority of entrepreneurs still work at the grass roots. Elizabeth Macbride, Fortune, "Tech entrepreneurs grab the headlines, but COVID relief should target grass-roots small businesses," 2 May 2021 But the grass roots is energized about election fraud, and the power of the state’s new voting law to help Republicans should not be discounted., "In rapidly changing Georgia, many Republicans remain obsessed with the last election," 24 Apr. 2021 Throughout the Trump years, the show was a mix of righteous anger and gallows humor, while also becoming a powerhouse for grass roots activism and fund-raising. New York Times, "8 Podcasts to Help Make Sense of Post-Trump America," 21 Apr. 2021 Kaeser will discuss how this came to be, speaking about how grass roots activists waged a fight to transform the city from a white suburb into an inclusive, diverse community. cleveland, "Play virtual trivia game May 2 and help raise funds for the Mandel JCC: Press Run," 9 Apr. 2021 The high turnout in the last election was due in large part to the vast network of grass roots organizations across the country deeply embedded in diverse communities, who registered and turned-out millions of people. NBC News, "Why women are 'critical' to Covid-19 vaccine distribution and acceptance," 6 Apr. 2021 The Rainbow Coalition notion really happened at the grass roots. Vinson Cunningham, Los Angeles Times, "The future of L.A. is here. Robin D.G. Kelley’s radical imagination shows us the way," 17 Mar. 2021 The urgency for federal action has mounted not just among Washington lobbyists and Democratic lawmakers, but grass roots groups that normally fight battles in state legislatures and city councils. New York Times, "For Voting Rights Advocates, a ‘Once in a Generation Moment’ Looms," 15 Mar. 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for grassroots

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grassroots.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for grassroots

grass roots


English Language Learners Definition of grass roots

: the ordinary people in a society or organization : the people who do not have a lot of money and power

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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