grass·​roots | \ ˈgras-ˌrüts How to pronounce grassroots (audio) , -ˌru̇ts \
variants: or less commonly grassroot \ ˈgras-​ˌrüt How to pronounce grassroot (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 Penn is part of the local Moms Demand Action, a grassroots movement to prevent gun violence, attending protests and legislative hearings. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "The Real Karens: They're ready to talk to the manager, and use their powers for good," 10 July 2020 The murals are a part of a grassroots public service campaign. Amy Chillag, CNN, "Black mural artists are adding face masks to their street art in a grassroots PSA to fight the coronavirus," 9 July 2020 For North Texas immigrants Left out of government aid programs, unauthorized workers are getting help during the coronavirus pandemic from grassroots groups. Emily Dunn, Dallas News, "Navigating coronavirus in D-FW: Phases of reopening, how to get tested and seek financial assistance," 7 July 2020 Johnson worked with former IU women’s basketball player Andrea McGuirt to direct his donation to grassroots organizations combatting racial injustice. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Former Hoosier Micah Johnson finds voice as an artist," 25 June 2020 The grassroots campaign is aligned with the Oneida Indian Nation. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Never say 'NEVER'? Now is time for Dan Snyder to extinguish Washington's racist NFL name," 20 June 2020 Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, National Action Network president, kicked off the conference that featured African American faith leaders, activists and grassroots organizations. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Brad Parscale didn't vote for Trump in 2016," 19 June 2020 Many grassroots organizations aside from MFF went from only being able to afford to bail out a dozen people over the course of the month to suddenly having millions. Elly Belle,, "Yes, The Minnesota Freedom Fund Got $35 Million In Donations — Here’s What They Plan To Do With It," 16 June 2020 The bike ride was organized by the Portland chapter of Black Girl Do Bike, a national grassroots organization that promotes wellness, inclusivity and community for African American women, with a focus on cycling. oregonlive, "Black Girls Do Bike hosts ‘Let’s Ride’ bike ride for racial justice in Northeast Portland," 11 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction Organizers also encourage donations for victims' families, community bail funds and getting involved with grass roots campaigns. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "Music industry leaders vow to pause business for a day in observation of Blackout Tuesday," 1 June 2020 Instead, our grass roots researchers, teachers and preachers should be center stage. al, "Academic distancing and the absurdity of ‘Wait and See’ -- A social commentary," 28 May 2020 Having won 10 of the last 14 elections in Israel, Likud is the most stable, powerful and only grass roots party in Israel. Aaron David Miller, Time, "To Annex or Not to Annex: What Will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Do Next?," 13 May 2020 But as the bill gained traction, Envision and TeamHealth quietly backed a purported grass roots organization called Doctor Patient Unity to advocate against the legislation, according to The New York Times. NBC News, "Private equity firms now control many hospitals, ERs and nursing homes. Is it good for health care?," 13 May 2020 Aeration and top dressing are the only reasonable way to restore organic material to the soil around your grass roots. Calvin Finch,, "Calvin Finch: Geraniums and petunias are putting on a show in San Antonio gardens," 26 Mar. 2020 Disappointed by the abrupt halt to their training, medical students around the country have responded with grass roots efforts to secure masks, staff patient call centers and even provide child care for beleaguered doctors. Penina Krieger, New York Times, "Medical Students, Sidelined for Now, Find New Ways to Fight Coronavirus," 23 Mar. 2020 With grass roots activism increasing over the years, Earth Day has since gone global. Lauren Sloss, New York Times, "Where to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day," 10 Mar. 2020 Indeed, the opposition to the law has inspired its own fervent pushback, including aggressive online advocacy and the near-constant presence of grass roots activists in the Capitol. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "The Bail Reform Backlash That Has Democrats at War," 14 Feb. 2020

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

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grassroots.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grassroots

Spanish Central: Translation of grassroots

Nglish: Translation of grassroots for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grassroots for Arabic Speakers

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