From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishrootroot1 /ruːt/ ●●● S2 W2 noun [countable] 1 plantHBP the part of a plant or tree that grows under the ground and gets water from the soil tree roots These plants produce a number of thin roots. → root crop, root vegetable2 cause of a problemCAUSE the main cause of a problembe/lie at the root of something (=be the cause of something) Allergies are at the root of a lot of health problems. The love of money is the root of all evil. A competent mechanic should be able to get to the root of the problem (=find out the cause of a problem). the root causes of crime3 origin/main partCOME FROM/ORIGINATE the origin or main part of something such as a custom, law, activity etc, from which other things have developedroot in a legal system with roots in English common law Jazz has its roots in the folk songs of the southern states of the US.be/lie at the root of something the liberal economic policies which lie at the root of American power4 → somebody’s roots5 → put down roots6 tooth/hair etcHBH the part of a tooth, hair etc that connects it to the rest of your body She’d pulled some of Kelly’s hair out by the roots.7 → take root8 → have a (good) root round9 language technicalSLG the basic part of a word which shows its main meaning, to which other parts can be added. For example, the word ‘coldness’ is formed from the root ‘cold’ and the suffix ‘ness’. → stem10 mathematics technicalHMN a number that, when multiplied by itself a certain number of times, equals the number that you have 2 is the fourth root of 16.11 → root and branch → cube root, square root, grass roots
Examples from the Corpusroot• They usually have well developed roots and fragile stems with which to resist the pressure of the current.• But its roots go back decades.• I doubt whether you can have deep London roots, or Birmingham, or even Stoke-on-Trent roots.• The long roots of Water Lettuce provide shelter for fish and fry.• The dozen rich families have intermarried so many times that family trees are tangles of roots.• The word bond comes from the same root as bind, for the corporation binds it-self to make the specified payments.• The love of money is said to be the root of all evil.• Cover the roots with plenty of soil.• Low taxation of the rich is the root of the economic problems in this country.• Truffles are parasites that grow on the roots of trees.• We need to get to the root of the problem.• The roots of the wars in the Balkans go back hundreds of years.root causes• But Didion is interested in root causes, not in immediate provocations.• Like retrenching, the technique of restricting behavior betrays a peculiar logic about performance and its root causes.• The main inhibitors to progress, and the root causes of fear, can include: Unrealistic personal goals and expectations.• What are the root causes? 4.• The charity used the occasion to call for fresh action to tackle the root causes of world poverty.• Health promotion - keeping people healthy, and treating the root causes of ill health.• Some have their root causes in subjective factors, others in objective factors and others still are a mixture.• While standard educational practices are not in themselves root causes of work inhibition, these practices usually exacerbate the problem.be/lie at the root of something• As we shall find, this distinction lies at the root of Anselm's movements in his last years as archbishop.• It is our illusion of separateness which lies at the root of our fears.• Several other causes, according to their findings, often lie at the root of violence against tenants.• We found that two key resource uses and two basic technologies lay at the root of lunar industry.• That view lies at the root of a government drive against the racist right.• Consent, which lies at the root of self-determination, should be the conceptual mechanism whereby the right is guaranteed and safeguarded.• They overlook the human ability to negate, which lies at the root of thinking.• Biblical writings, which lie at the root of Western culture, make numerous mention of portents in the heavens.