sci·​on | \ˈsī-ən \

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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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

Traveling on Moon's government jet was Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong and other business leaders, underscoring Moon's hopes to expand cross-border business projects. Fox News, "Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks," 18 Sep. 2018 Moon will also take a group of business tycoons including Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong to Pyongyang. Hyung-jin Kim, The Seattle Times, "South Korean president heads to North for summit with Kim," 17 Sep. 2018 For Schulze, the scion of a family that made billions in mining, a thaw in the United States’ relationship with North Korea would be potentially lucrative. Mark Mazzetti,, "Financier worked to open a channel between Kushner and North Korea," 17 June 2018 Which goes a long way toward explaining why the real-estate scion still hasn’t managed to bring peace to the Middle East. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The CIA Still Doesn’t Trust Jared Kushner With Its Most Sensitive Intelligence," 13 July 2018 According to Curbed, the home is owned by the Ziff family, the tech publishing scions who previously owned titles like Car & Driver and PC Magazine. Devin Alessio, ELLE Decor, "The Most Expensive House In America Has A Botanical Garden On The Property," 26 July 2016 The scion of rock royalty continues the slow rollout of her music. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Frances Bean Cobain Posts Clip of Intense New Song: Listen," 13 June 2018 On the Democratic side former Attorney General Drew Edmondson, the scion of a famous Oklahoma political family, is favored over former state Senator Connie Johnson for the gubernatorial nod. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "New York House Races Headline June 26 State Primaries," 26 June 2018 So Madison Bumgarner, once the scion of durability, has officially entered the freak accident stage of his career. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Giants fans lament on Twitter as Bumgarner will miss ‘significant’ time | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Mar. 2018

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

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Statistics for scion

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for scion

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

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More Definitions for scion



English Language Learners Definition of scion

: 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).


living or existing for a long time

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