Synonyms of root

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a point or place at which something is invented or provided
  • he insists that insecurity is the root of all jealousy

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2 the source from which something grows or develops
  • one would need to go back at least several hundred years to find the root of the entrenched hostility between the neighboring nations

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3 an immaterial thing upon which something else rests
  • an implicit trust in the wisdom of the people is the root of democracy

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4 the central part or aspect of something under consideration
  • at root, it's a question of the proper limits, if any, of free speech

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Synonyms & Antonyms of root (Entry 2 of 2)

to set solidly in or as if in surrounding matter
  • rooted the post securely in the dirt

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origin, source, inception, root mean the point at which something begins its course or existence. origin applies to the things or persons from which something is ultimately derived and often to the causes operating before the thing itself comes into being. an investigation into the origin of baseball source applies more often to the point where something springs into being. the source of the Nile the source of recurrent trouble inception stresses the beginning of something without implying causes. the business has been a success since its inception root suggests a first, ultimate, or fundamental source often not easily discerned. the real root of the violence

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Time Traveler for root

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The first known use of root was in the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Root.” The Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on root

Dictionary: Definition of root

Medical Dictionary: Definition of root

Spanish Central: Translation of root

Nglish: Translation of root for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of root for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about root

Comments on root

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


to assert without proof or before proving

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