Sense: 1-2, 4-5
Date: 1200-1300
Origin: ROOT1
Sense: 3
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: Old English wrotan. root for Perhaps from rout (of cattle) 'to make a loud sound' (14-19 centuries), from Old Norse rauta


2 verb


a) [intransitive]HBP to grow roots:
New shrubs will root easily in summer.
b) [transitive usually passive] if a plant is rooted somewhere, it is held in the ground firmly by its roots:
a bush firmly rooted in the hard ground
root itself
Clumps of thyme had rooted themselves between the rocks.

be rooted in something

to have developed from something and be strongly influenced by it:
The country's economic troubles are rooted in a string of global crises.
This feeling of rejection is often deeply rooted in childhood.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to search for something by moving things around [= rummage]
root through/in/amongst something (for something)
Leila rooted through her handbag for a pen.


[intransitive usually + adverb/preposition] if a pig roots somewhere, it looks for food under the ground
root for
pigs rooting for truffles

rooted to the spot/floor/ground etc

so shocked, surprised, or frightened that you cannot move:
She stood rooted to the spot, staring at him.

root for somebody

phrasal verb
1 to want someone to succeed in a competition, test, or difficult situation:
You can do it - I'm rooting for you.
2 especially American English to support a sports team or player by shouting and cheering:
the Los Angeles fans rooting for the Lakers

root something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to find out where a particular kind of problem exists and get rid of it:
Action is being taken to root out corruption in the police force.
2 to find something by searching for it:
I'll try and root out something for you to wear.

root something ↔ up

phrasal verb
DLG to dig or pull a plant up with its roots

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