rhi·​zome | \ ˈrī-ˌzōm How to pronounce rhizome (audio) \

Definition of rhizome

: a somewhat elongated usually horizontal subterranean plant stem that is often thickened by deposits of reserve food material, produces shoots above and roots below, and is distinguished from a true root in possessing buds, nodes, and usually scalelike leaves

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Other Words from rhizome

rhizomic \ rī-​ˈzō-​mik How to pronounce rhizome (audio) , -​ˈzä-​ \ adjective

Examples of rhizome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the flower blooms, its rhizome (called orris root) must be left in the ground for three years. April Long, Town & Country, 26 Aug. 2021 If mulching, do not cover the rhizome—just mulch up to it. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 14 June 2021 Firm the soil around each rhizome and then water it in to help settle the soil. oregonlive, 7 May 2021 Amy Huie, the chapter’s propagation committee chair, will talk about propagation of narrow leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) from seed and rhizome cuttings. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Apr. 2021 Cut just below a rhizome, where a leaf meets the stem, or cut a piece of leaf that has a vein. oregonlive, 8 Apr. 2021 Populus tremuloides, the quaking aspen, grows in clonal colonies, which means each stem in a grove is genetically identical, connected by an immense underground root system called a rhizome. Leath Tonino, Outside Online, 19 Nov. 2020 The top of the rhizome should be about one-half inch below the soil surface. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, 3 Sep. 2020 Plant the rhizomes so that the top is level with the soil surface. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, 14 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rhizome.' 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 rhizome

1833, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rhizome

New Latin rhizomat-, rhizoma, from Greek rhizōmat-, rhizōma mass of roots, from rhizoun to cause to take root, from rhiza root — more at root

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Time Traveler for rhizome

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The first known use of rhizome was in 1833

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Dictionary Entries Near rhizome

rhizomatous begonia



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Last Updated

5 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rhizome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhizome. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for rhizome



English Language Learners Definition of rhizome

: a thick plant stem that grows underground and has shoots and roots growing from it


rhi·​zome | \ ˈrī-ˌzōm How to pronounce rhizome (audio) \

Medical Definition of rhizome

: a usually horizontal subterranean plant stem that is distinguished from a true root in possessing buds, nodes, and usually scalelike leaves

More from Merriam-Webster on rhizome

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhizome


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