sci·​on | \ ˈsī-ən How to pronounce scion (audio) \

Definition of scion

1 : a detached living portion of a plant (such as a bud or shoot) joined to a stock in grafting and usually supplying solely aerial parts to a graft
2a : descendant, child especially : a descendant of a wealthy, aristocratic, or influential family
b : heir sense 1 scion of a railroad empire

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Frequently Asked Questions About scion

What is the difference between a scion and an heir?

There is a considerble overlap between the meanings of scion and heir, as both words may be defined as "one who receives property from an ancestor" or "one who is entitled to inherit property." However, they also have subtle differences between them. While both may refer to a descendant, heir is the more appropriate choice for a child or relative who inherits something. And while one may be the heir to a family of modest or significant means, scion is often found in the sense "a descendant of a wealthy, aristocratic, or influential family."

What is the difference between a scion and a stock in horticulture?

In horticultural use scion is defined as "a detached living portion of a plant (such as a bud or shoot) joined to a stock in grafting." Stock, on the other hand, refers to such things as "the main stem of a plant," "a plant from which cuttings are taken," and "a plant or plant part united with a scion in grafting."

How do you pronounce scion?

The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) pronunciation we give for scion is ˈsī-ən. For those who don’t read IPA easily another way to think of it is that scion is pronounced like sigh & un, with the emphasis placed on the sigh.

Examples of scion in a Sentence

He's a scion of a powerful family.
Recent Examples on the Web The historic Edsel and Eleanor Ford mansion in Grosse Pointe Shores is known for hosting wedding receptions, fancy car shows and tours of the home and sprawling grounds of the auto scion. Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 Despite his relative anonymity, Muhlbauer is the scion of a rural Democratic political family — his father and grandfather are former state legislators. Thomas Beaumont, ajc, 25 May 2021 The scion of a conservative political dynasty, Cheney's ejection underscores the party's transformation into a party motivated less by policy so much as personalityand grievance. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 16 May 2021 According to Forbes, the tech scion has donated $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation, and now owns just over 1% of shares in the company. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 3 May 2021 As a graffiti artist, Donnelly, the scion of a middle-class family, was no up-from-the-streets wild child. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2021 The dark country is one of the last nominally Communist nations in the world—a Stalinist personality cult centered on Kim Jong Un, the peevish, ruthless scion of the dynasty that has ruled North Korea since 1948, after the peninsula was divided. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 20 Apr. 2021 The group’s board included Morton Irvine Smith, scion of a quarrelsome California family that once owned much of the land on which Orange County was built. New York Times, 10 Apr. 2021 How many issues could a handsome, athletic scion of Hollywood royalty have to work out? Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone, 18 Mar. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scion

Middle English sioun, syon "branch, twig, offshoot," borrowed from Anglo-French cioun, ciun, sioun (continental Old French cion "offspring, new growth of a plant") from ci-, going back to an Old Low Franconian outcome of West Germanic *kīþa- "sprout, bud" + Old French -on, suffix, perhaps here with diminutive value, going back to Latin -ōn-, -ō, suffix of nouns denoting persons with a prominent feature; *kīþa- "sprout, bud" (whence also Old English cīþ "sprout, shoot, bud," Old Saxon kīth "shoot," Old High German kīd, also -kīdi in frumikīdi "first one"), going back to Indo-European *ǵei̯H-ti- or *ǵiH-ti-, noun derivative of a verbal base *ǵei̯H- "burst out, sprout," whence, from a nasal present, Germanic *kīnan- (whence Old English cīnan "to burst open, gape, [of skin] be chapped," Old Saxon kīnan "to sprout," Old High German chīnan "to sprout, germinate," Swedish dialect kina "to yawn," Gothic keinan "to sprout," uskeinan "to put forth, send out [growth]," with past participle uskijanata lacking -n-); whence also, with suffixed *-dh-, Latvian ziêdu, ziêdêt "to bloom," Lithuanian žydė́ti

Note: The Anglo-French forms are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, though their source is unspecified; the Anglo-Norman Dictionary lacks an entry for this word. The suffix should perhaps be taken as filling out a word that otherwise has little phonetic substance. — Another generally cited nominal derivative of the Germanic verb is represented by Old English cine, cinu (weak feminine noun) "chink, fissure" (compare chink entry 1), Middle Dutch kēne "cleft, crack." Armenian cil "stem, bud, top of a crop plant" has also been adduced, though Martirosyan (Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon, Brill, 2009) believes that "I[ndo-]E[uropean] proposals are not convincing."

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Time Traveler for scion

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The first known use of scion was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for scion



English Language Learners Definition of scion

formal : a person who was born into a rich, famous, or important family
botany : a piece of a plant that is attached to part of another plant

More from Merriam-Webster on scion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scion

Britannica English: Translation of scion for Arabic Speakers


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