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 But in Massachusetts, the former is the scion of the state’s most powerful political dynasty, and the veteran has the backing of liberals known for taking on the establishment, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.). Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Kennedy-Markey Senate Battle Heats Up in Massachusetts," 8 June 2020 Roberts, the scion of Comcast’s founding family, has served as the company’s chairman and chief executive for more than a decade. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, "Comcast rejects calls for outside investigation of NBC’s handling of sexual harassment," 3 June 2020 Producer Dan Enright’s solution was to have Stempel lose to a more charismatic opponent, Van Doren, scion of a prominent scholarly family and himself a rising star at Columbia University. Time, "Herbert Stempel, Who Blew the Whistle on Rigged 1950s Quiz Show, Dies at 93," 1 June 2020 Exor, led by Agnelli scion John Elkann -- who’s also chairman of Fiat and Ferrari -- agreed to buy PartnerRe in 2015 valuing the company at about $6.9 billion. Tommaso Ebhardt,, "Agnellis in Talks to Sell PartnerRe to Covea for $9 Billion," 7 May 2020 Last August, South Korea's top court ordered a retrial for Lee, reigniting the case and raising concerns that the technology scion could be sent back to prison. Michelle Toh, CNN, "Chastened Samsung heir will not hand the company down to his children," 6 May 2020 The Samsung scion still faces his own legal issues, in a courtroom back and forth that has kept his name and the name of his empire in the headlines. New York Times, "Samsung Heir Apologizes for Corruption and Union-Busting Scandals," 6 May 2020 In her twins' London bedroom, De Gournay scion Hannah Cecil Gurney used an Elephant chair to put a modern twist on a classic wall mural. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "This Elephant-Shaped Chair Is a New Kids'-Room Classic," 28 Jan. 2020 Both men are ambitious scions who inherited real estate empires and lifted them to glitzier heights in Manhattan. Brian Bennett, Time, "Inside Jared Kushner’s Unusual White House Role," 16 Jan. 2020

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

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for scion


How to pronounce scion (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on scion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scion

Britannica English: Translation of scion for Arabic Speakers

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