Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR ROOTS

Cool enough to handle and then remove the skin and the roots.

Instead, only a tense horror that touched to the roots of emotion.

These roots were Stigmaria, and the stuff into which they penetrated was an underclay.

But then, if people grew savage, they might pull my beard out by the roots.

The lines of box and sweet syringa are known only by their roots.

It was in her veins, in her bones, in the roots of her hair.

Marthe had felt a cold breath, chilling the roots of her hair.

Around its roots is velvet turf, and there are wild violet beds.

I set my young jaw doggedly and kept on writing about my roots.

The peasantry used to eat its tops as greens, and cook the roots in stews.

WORD ORIGIN

"underground part of a plant," late Old English rot, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rot "root," figuratively "cause, origin," from Proto-Germanic *wrot (cf. Old English wyrt "root, herb, plant," Old High German wurz, German Wurz "a plant," Gothic waurts "a root," with characteristic Scandinavian loss of -w- before -r-), from PIE *wrad- (see radish (n.), and cf. wort). The usual Old English words for "root" were wyrttruma and wyrtwala.

Figurative use is from c.1200. Of teeth, hair, etc., from early 13c. Mathematical sense is from 1550s. Philological sense from 1520s. Slang meaning "penis" is recorded from 1846. In U.S. black use, "a spell effected by magical properties of roots," 1935. To take root is from 1530s. Root beer, made from the extracts of various roots, first recorded 1841, American English; root doctor is from 1821. Root cap is from 1875.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR ROOTS

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.