1

stem

noun \ ˈstem \

Definition of stem

1 a : the main trunk of a plant; specifically : a primary plant axis that develops buds and shoots instead of roots
b : a plant part (such as a branch, petiole, or stipe) that supports another (such as a leaf or fruit)
c : the complete fruiting stalk of a banana plant with its bananas
2 a : the main upright member at the bow of a ship
b : the bow or prow of a ship — compare stern
3 : a line of ancestry : stock; especially : a fundamental line from which others have arisen
4 : the part of an inflected word that remains after the inflected part is removed
  • strength is the stem of strengths
; also : root 6
5 : something held to resemble a plant stem: such as
a : a main or heavy stroke of a letter
b : the short perpendicular line extending from the head of a musical note
c : the part of a tobacco pipe from the bowl outward
d : the cylindrical support of a piece of stemware (such as a goblet)
e : a shaft of a watch used for winding
from stem to stern

Origin and Etymology of stem

Middle English, from Old English stefn, stemn stem of a plant or ship; akin to Old High German stam plant stem and probably to Greek stamnos wine jar, histanai to set — more at stand


2

stem

verb

Definition of stem

stemmed; stemming
transitive verb
1 : to make headway against (something, such as an adverse tide, current, or wind)
2 : to check or go counter to (something adverse)

stemmer

noun

Origin and Etymology of stem

Middle English (Scots) stemmen to keep a course, from 1stem (of a ship)


3

stem

verb

Definition of stem

stemmed; stemming
transitive verb
1 : to remove the stem from
2 : to make a stem for (something, such as an artificial flower)
intransitive verb
: to occur or develop as a consequence : have or trace an origin
  • her success stems from hard work

stemmer

noun

Origin and Etymology of stem

1stem (of a plant)

Synonym Discussion of stem

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging.
    • an idea that springs to mind
arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent.
    • new questions have arisen
    • slowly rose to prominence
originate implies a definite source or starting point.
    • the fire originated in the basement
derive implies a prior existence in another form.
    • the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast
flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception.
    • words flowed easily from her pen
issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet.
    • blood issued from the cut
emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source.
    • reports emanating from the capital
proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause.
    • advice that proceeds from the best of intentions
stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development.
    • industries stemming from space research

4

stem

verb

Definition of stem

stemmed; stemming
transitive verb
1 a : to stop or dam up (something, such as a river)
b : to stop or check by or as if by damming; especially : stanch
  • stem a flow of blood
2 : to turn (a ski) in stemming
intransitive verb
1 : to restrain or check oneself; also : to become checked or stanched
2 : to slide the heel of one ski or of both skis outward usually in making or preparing to make a turn

Origin and Etymology of stem

Middle English stemmen to dam up, from Old Norse stemma; akin to Middle High German stemmen to dam up and probably to Lithuanian stumti to shove


5

stem

noun

Definition of stem

1 : check, dam
2 : an act or instance of stemming on skis

First Known Use of stem

1700


STEM

abbreviation

Definition of STEM

science, technology, engineering, and mathematics


STEM Defined for Kids

1

stem

noun \ ˈstem \

Definition of stem for Students

1 : the main stalk of a plant that develops buds and shoots and usually grows above ground
2 : a thin plant part (as a leafstalk) that supports another part
  • a cherry's stem
3 : the bow of a ship
4 : the basic part of a word to which prefixes or suffixes may be added
5 : something like a stalk or shaft
  • the stem of a goblet
  • … Henry and Jake both pushed the stems of their stopwatches down …
  • —Walter Farley, The Black Stallion
from stem to stern
: in or to every part : thoroughly

2

stem

verb

Definition of stem for Students

stemmed; stemming
1 : to make progress against
  • The boat was able to stem the current.
2 : to check or hold back the progress of
  • New safety rules stemmed the increase in accidents.

3

stem

verb

Definition of stem for Students

stemmed; stemming
1 : to develop as a consequence of
  • His illness stems from an accident.
2 : to come from : derive
  • The word “misty” stems from “mist.”
3 : to remove the stem from
  • stem cherries

4

stem

verb

Definition of stem for Students

stemmed; stemming
: to stop or check by or as if by damming
  • We were able to stem the flow of blood.


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