stemma

noun
stem·​ma | \ ˈste-mə How to pronounce stemma (audio) \
plural stemmata\ ˈste-​mə-​tə How to pronounce stemma (audio) \

Definition of stemma

1 : a simple eye present in some insects
2 : a scroll (as among the ancient Romans) containing a genealogical list
3 : a tree showing the relationships of the manuscripts of a literary work

Other Words from stemma

stemmatic \ ste-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce stemma (audio) , stə-​ \ adjective

Examples of stemma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her discipline of philology, the study of the development of texts over time, requires comparing manuscripts to each other, building a stemma, or genealogy of texts, from a parent or original manuscript. David M. Perry, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stemma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stemma

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stemma

Latin, wreath, pedigree (from the wreaths placed on ancestral images), from Greek, wreath, from stephein to crown, enwreathe

Learn More About stemma

Dictionary Entries Near stemma

stem-line

stemma

stemmatiform

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stemma

Cite this Entry

“Stemma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stemma. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!