scion

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

Get Familial With Scion

Scion derives from the Middle English sioun and Old French cion and is related to the Old English cīth and the Old High German kīdi (meaning "sprout" or "shoot"). When it first sprouted in English in the 14th century, scion meant "a shoot or twig." That sense withered in horticultural contexts, but the word branched out, adding the grafting-related meaning we know today. A figurative sense also blossomed referring to one's descendants, with particular reference to those who are descendants of notable families.

Examples of scion in a Sentence

He's a scion of a powerful family.

Recent Examples on the Web

Founded in 1905, the company is controlled by scions of J.R. Sweasy, who bought a majority stake soon after being elected general manager in 1919. Ruth Simon, WSJ, "Red Wing, Iconic U.S. Shoe Maker, Labors Mightily to Bring Production Home," 12 July 2019 Rahul Gandhi became party president in 2017 but could never shake the BJP’s portrait of him as the ineffectual scion of a corrupt dynasty. Niha Masih, Washington Post, "As Rahul Gandhi resigns, India’s founding dynasty nears an end," 3 July 2019 The hacienda-style property, built in 1914 by a scion of the Morton Salt family, still features original design elements, including 19th-century white oak beams in its updated rooms and common areas. New York Times, "36 Hours in Napa Valley," 21 June 2018 Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudis, and Osama bin Laden was a scion of one of the country’s wealthiest nonroyal families. Daniel Benjamin, The New York Review of Books, "Reckless in Riyadh," 30 May 2019 Photo: olivia acland/Reuters Like Mr. Kabila, Mr. Tshisekedi is the scion of one of Congo’s most prominent political families. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Surprise Winner Declared in Congo Presidential Election," 9 Jan. 2019 The scion of his family’s eponymous rifle company, and heir to its fortune, William died in 1881, leaving his widow a $20 million inheritance, and heiress to 50 percent ownership in the firearms business. David Nash, House Beautiful, "Inside the Winchester Mystery House, the Craziest Home in the Country," 15 May 2019 Immigrants, sons of immigrants and grandsons of immigrants bonded together with scions of families that have been French for generations, all for the rouge, blanc et bleu. Ronald Blum, Fox News, "Vive le France! And a lot of other nations, too," 15 July 2018 The 47-year-old media scion, best known for being Rupert Murdoch’s son, is finally inheriting the mantle of chief executive of the family business. Sarah Ellison, The Seattle Times, "Younger Murdoch take the reins. How will he deal with Trump?," 25 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of scion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scion

Middle English sioun, from Old French cion, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English cīth sprout, shoot, Old High German kīdi

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scion

Listen to Our Podcast about scion

Statistics for scion

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scion

scion

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scion

Britannica English: Translation of scion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scion

What made you want to look up scion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!