tap·​root | \ˈtap-ˌrüt, -ˌru̇t\

Definition of taproot 

1 : a primary root that grows vertically downward and gives off small lateral roots

2 : the central element or position in a line of growth or development

Examples of taproot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Plants grow from thick taproots that are quite deep on mature plants. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Gorgeous Echinacea in Your Garden," 29 May 2018 Patsy's Pizzeria Patsy’s Pizzeria, one of the first taproots of NYC’s by-the-slice culture, is a pizza pilgrimage. Keith Flanagan, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Places for Pizza in New York City," 1 Mar. 2018 Reverting to tribalism is the taproot of our social and political polarization. WSJ, "It’s Hard to See Democracy Coexisting With Tribalism," 7 Nov. 2018 Even 12 years later, Thompson’s last thought is of the woman who left him, the searching taproot of his 2004 despair. New York Times, "A Youthful, Lovesick Journey Revealed in a Sketchbook," 6 July 2018 These tough plants have deep taproots that enable them to store some water for lean times. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Gorgeous Medicinal Echinacea In Your Garden," 17 July 2017 Pawpaw trees develop a deep taproot, and contain delicate, fibrous roots. Andrew Moore, Good Housekeeping, "A Beginner's Guide To Growing Pawpaw—The Delicious Fruit You're Not Eating," 12 Jan. 2018 Spinach plants form a deep taproot; for best growth, loosen the soil at least 1 foot deep before planting. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow The Tastiest Spinach," 15 Feb. 2018 Dandelions are another perennial weed, sprouting from a deep taproot in early spring. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Some of the first plants to spring up after winter are weeds. Here's how to get control.," 13 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taproot.' 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 taproot

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for taproot

tap entry 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about taproot

Dictionary Entries near taproot


tap rivet





tap screw

Statistics for taproot

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taproot

The first known use of taproot was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for taproot



English Language Learners Definition of taproot

: the large main root of a plant from which smaller roots grow


tap·​root | \ˈtap-ˌrüt, -ˌru̇t\

Kids Definition of taproot

: a main root of a plant that grows straight down and gives off smaller side roots

More from Merriam-Webster on taproot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with taproot

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about taproot

Comments on taproot

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


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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