grass·​roots | \ ˈgras-ˌrüts How to pronounce grassroots (audio) , -ˌru̇ts \
variants: or less commonly grassroot \ ˈgras-​ˌrüt How to pronounce grassroots (audio) , -​ˌru̇t \

Definition of grassroots

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : basic, fundamental the grassroots factor in deciding to buy a house
2 : being, originating, or operating in or at the grass roots a grassroots organization grassroots political support
3 : not adapted from or added to an existing facility or operation : totally new a grassroots refinery

Definition of grass roots (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the very foundation or source You must attack the problem at the grass roots.
2 : the basic level of society or of an organization especially as viewed in relation to higher or more centralized positions of power was losing touch with the party's grass roots

Examples of grassroots in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The other solution is for Democrats to double down on efforts to expand its reach, undertaking the kind of grassroots initiatives that activists like Stacey Abrams spearheaded in Georgia to switch the state from red to blue. Julian Zelizer, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021 Tie Break Tens believe working with national tennis federations is an ideal way to boost grassroots tennis and increase participation. Danielle Rossingh, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 Because of our grassroots team of supporters like YOU, our campaign has raised over 1 million dollars! Maya T. Prabhu, ajc, 19 Oct. 2021 In each city, Couric will highlight a local, grassroots charity. Katie Campione,, 14 Oct. 2021 Hawk Lessard attributed the higher numbers of Marylanders identifying now as American Indian to a successful grassroots effort among Indigenous peoples across the country to document their identities in official records. Lillian Reed,, 11 Oct. 2021 Crist’s agenda also touched on reducing gun violence, promising to partner with local governments and grassroots groups with gun-safety campaigns and strengthening social services and better affordable housing. Ryan Gillespie,, 11 Oct. 2021 Despite aligning themselves with a grassroots movement, the big tech firms also continue to oppose structural changes to the American economy that would arguably benefit workers but threaten the companies’ bottom lines. Victor Luckerson, Wired, 5 Oct. 2021 Corado is hoping grassroots supporters can help the organization weather the current crisis, at least temporarily. NBC News, 5 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction The combination of grass roots donations, philanthropic support and city support has helped shore up Weeksville’s finances. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2021 One of the events Upadhyay organized this month, a raucous rally in New Delhi, showed how the demographic issue can filter down to the Hindu nationalist grass roots and become a venomous force. Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2021 The conservative grass roots has chafed at those maneuvers. Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 The nonprofit, which currently focuses only on U.S. water infrastructure, is funded primarily through grass roots donations, according to its chief executive. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 Several other lawsuits brought by tribes, grass roots organization and environmentalists have all met similar fates., 20 Aug. 2021 The fact that DeSantis is clearly plotting a future presidential campaign and wants to please conservative grass roots voters surely has nothing to do with his behavior. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 25 Aug. 2021 Until now, these grass roots investigations have been stymied by limited resources and logistical hurdles. Dan Frosch, WSJ, 11 Aug. 2021 Readers will wish that Dovere hadn’t moved so quickly away from the grass roots that coalesced to stop the Trump juggernaut. Washington Post, 28 May 2021

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

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First Known Use of grassroots


1912, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for grassroots


see grass entry 1

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Time Traveler for grassroots

Time Traveler

The first known use of grassroots was in 1899

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Dictionary Entries Near grassroots

grass rooter


grass roots

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Statistics for grassroots

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grassroots.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for grassroots

grass roots


English Language Learners Definition of grass roots

: the ordinary people in a society or organization : the people who do not have a lot of money and power

More from Merriam-Webster on grassroots

Nglish: Translation of grassroots for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grassroots for Arabic Speakers


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