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

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 are the taproots that encourage the unjust discrimination against all beets that infects most small children. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "With Marisol inside the MCA, Jason Hammel paints a new canvas," 13 Dec. 2017 This nutritious green has deep taproots, and can be grown to maturity best as a fall crop. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Which plants did well for you, and which did not? | Idaho Statesman," 25 Oct. 2017 From its lovely purple-black berries to the very tip of its stout, white taproot, the plant is poison. Dave Taft, New York Times, "The Vegetarian’s Puffer Fish," 5 Oct. 2017 But the taproot of Yogi Adityanath’s popularity is in a more ominous place. Ellen Barry And Suhasini Raj, New York Times, "Firebrand Hindu Cleric Ascends India’s Political Ladder," 12 July 2017

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

18 Sep 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

See 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).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

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


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!