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2 definitions found
 for Root and branch
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Root \Root\, n. [Icel. r[=o]t (for vr[=o]t); akin to E. wort,
     and perhaps to root to turn up the earth. See Wort.]
     1. (Bot.)
        (a) The underground portion of a plant, whether a true
            root or a tuber, a bulb or rootstock, as in the
            potato, the onion, or the sweet flag.
        (b) The descending, and commonly branching, axis of a
            plant, increasing in length by growth at its extremity
            only, not divided into joints, leafless and without
            buds, and having for its offices to fix the plant in
            the earth, to supply it with moisture and soluble
            matters, and sometimes to serve as a reservoir of
            nutriment for future growth. A true root, however, may
            never reach the ground, but may be attached to a wall,
            etc., as in the ivy, or may hang loosely in the air,
            as in some epiphytic orchids.
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     2. An edible or esculent root, especially of such plants as
        produce a single root, as the beet, carrot, etc.; as, the
        root crop.
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     3. That which resembles a root in position or function, esp.
        as a source of nourishment or support; that from which
        anything proceeds as if by growth or development; as, the
        root of a tooth, a nail, a cancer, and the like.
        (a) An ancestor or progenitor; and hence, an early race; a
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                  They were the roots out of which sprang two
                  distinct people.                  --Locke.
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        (b) A primitive form of speech; one of the earliest terms
            employed in language; a word from which other words
            are formed; a radix, or radical.
        (c) The cause or occasion by which anything is brought
            about; the source. "She herself . . . is root of
            bounty." --Chaucer.
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                  The love of money is a root of all kinds of
                  evil.                             --1 Tim. vi.
                                                    10 (rev. Ver.)
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        (d) (Math.) That factor of a quantity which when
            multiplied into itself will produce that quantity;
            thus, 3 is a root of 9, because 3 multiplied into
            itself produces 9; 3 is the cube root of 27.
        (e) (Mus.) The fundamental tone of any chord; the tone
            from whose harmonics, or overtones, a chord is
            composed. --Busby.
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        (f) The lowest place, position, or part. "Deep to the
            roots of hell." --Milton. "The roots of the
            mountains." --Southey.
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     4. (Astrol.) The time which to reckon in making calculations.
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              When a root is of a birth yknowe [known]. --Chaucer.
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     Aerial roots. (Bot.)
        (a) Small roots emitted from the stem of a plant in the
            open air, which, attaching themselves to the bark of
            trees, etc., serve to support the plant.
        (b) Large roots growing from the stem, etc., which descend
            and establish themselves in the soil. See Illust. of
     Multiple primary root (Bot.), a name given to the numerous
        roots emitted from the radicle in many plants, as the
     Primary root (Bot.), the central, first-formed, main root,
        from which the rootlets are given off.
     Root and branch, every part; wholly; completely; as, to
        destroy an error root and branch.
     Root-and-branch men, radical reformers; -- a designation
        applied to the English Independents (1641). See Citation
        under Radical, n., 2.
     Root barnacle (Zool.), one of the Rhizocephala.
     Root hair (Bot.), one of the slender, hairlike fibers found
        on the surface of fresh roots. They are prolongations of
        the superficial cells of the root into minute tubes.
     Root leaf (Bot.), a radical leaf. See Radical, a., 3
        (b) .
     Root louse (Zool.), any plant louse, or aphid, which lives
        on the roots of plants, as the Phylloxera of the
        grapevine. See Phylloxera.
     Root of an equation (Alg.), that value which, substituted
        for the unknown quantity in an equation, satisfies the
     Root of a nail
        (Anat.), the part of a nail which is covered by the skin.
     Root of a tooth (Anat.), the part of a tooth contained in
        the socket and consisting of one or more fangs.
     Secondary roots (Bot.), roots emitted from any part of the
        plant above the radicle.
     To strike root, To take root, to send forth roots; to
        become fixed in the earth, etc., by a root; hence, in
        general, to become planted, fixed, or established; to
        increase and spread; as, an opinion takes root. "The
        bended twigs take root." --Milton.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Branch \Branch\, n.; pl. Branches. [OE. braunche, F. branche,
     fr. LL. branca claw of a bird or beast of prey; cf. Armor.
     brank branch, bough.]
     1. (Bot.) A shoot or secondary stem growing from the main
        stem, or from a principal limb or bough of a tree or other
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     2. Any division extending like a branch; any arm or part
        connected with the main body of thing; ramification; as,
        the branch of an antler; the branch of a chandelier; a
        branch of a river; a branch of a railway.
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              Most of the branches, or streams, were dried up.
                                                    --W. Irving.
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     3. Any member or part of a body or system; a distinct
        article; a section or subdivision; a department. "Branches
        of knowledge." --Prescott.
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              It is a branch and parcel of mine oath. --Shak.
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     4. (Geom.) One of the portions of a curve that extends
        outwards to an indefinitely great distance; as, the
        branches of an hyperbola.
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     5. A line of family descent, in distinction from some other
        line or lines from the same stock; any descendant in such
        a line; as, the English branch of a family.
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              His father, a younger branch of the ancient stock.
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     6. (Naut.) A warrant or commission given to a pilot,
        authorizing him to pilot vessels in certain waters.
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     Branches of a bridle, two pieces of bent iron, which bear
        the bit, the cross chains, and the curb.
     Branch herring. See Alewife.
     Root and branch, totally, wholly.
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     Syn: Bough; limb; shoot; offshoot; twig; sprig.
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