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 If Roe falls, many women in the South will turn to a network of grassroots organizations and advocacy groups led by Black women that has emerged out of necessity to fill gaps in health care coverage and the social safety net. Char Adams, NBC News, 7 May 2022 Companies should work with grassroots groups to support the communities most affected by the climate crisis. Ryan Gellert, Time, 15 Apr. 2022 Entin is a strand in an intricate web of grassroots organizations — Jewish and non-Jewish — that has been spinning round the clock in Ukraine, working with taxi and bus operators to ferry members of vulnerable communities out of the war zone. Deepa Bharath, ajc, 20 Mar. 2022 Some of those arriving in Poland are getting help from grassroots social media groups. Zulekha Nathoo, USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2022 The way to fix this is through grassroots organizations with a track record of stopping violence. Sylvia Bennett-stone, WSJ, 3 Feb. 2022 During the pandemic, grassroots organizations have popped up all over the world to provide assistance to those most vulnerable. Jessica Dulong, CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 Supporting grassroots organizations is important to us. Stephanie Tharpe, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 The large dog park on the island’s southwest corner will remain almost entirely unchanged thanks to lobbying by one of San Diego’s most powerful grassroots organizations, Fiesta Island Dog Owners. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction Her supporters have suggested that her grass roots campaign which brought together diverse swaths of pink-wearing volunteers across sectors should maintain its momentum and prepare to take on a role as the opposition under the new administration. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Official narratives have framed Shanghai residents’ resilience and resourcefulness in securing essentials—often through grass roots efforts like group-buying and bartering—as examples of positive energy. Shen Lu And Liyan Qi, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2022 As with Wuhan’s lockdown, Shanghai’s residential committees—which enforce Communist Party mandates and maintain social order at the grass roots level—have served as front-line workers, implementing the government’s Covid-19 mandates. Shen Lu And Liza Lin, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 In addition to opening the soil to water, nutrient and gas exchange, the organic material in the top dressing enriches the grass roots. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Mar. 2022 The organized news conferences follow a trend that started with grass roots civilian efforts. Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2022 Growing grass roots can also loosen the soil, and with rain and irrigation, help fill in the depressions. Tom Maccubbin,, 29 Jan. 2022 But a growing number of grass roots groups in Israel say that, as the war intensifies, their government can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines. Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2022 Spearheaded by Brian Davis, the coalition’s director of grass roots organizing, the effort aims to focus on patterns and risk factors within the incidents. Kyle Swenson, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Jan. 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

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grassroots.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 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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