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stem definition

Overview

This page has 41 definitions of stem with English translations in 6 languages. Stem is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use stem in a sentence are shown. Also define these 58 related words and terms: botany, stalk, axis, plant, organ, rhizome, bulb, tuber, corm, slender, wine glass, linguistics, inflection, affix, root, conjugation, declension, leg, penis, typography, music, tail, virgula, nautical, keel, strake, cycling, handlebar, anatomy, crack pipe, winder, remove, cause, derive, descend, ram, stop, skiing, steem, STEM, vote, voice, sound, ability, speak, word, phonetics, vibration, vocal cords, first person, singular, present tense, indicative mood, stemmen, imperative mood, sto, stemme, and stamp.

See also: Stem and STEM

English stem definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English stem, stemme, stempne, stevin, from Old English stemn, from Proto-Germanic *stamniz.

Noun

stem (plural stems)

  1. The stock of a family; a race or generation of progenitors.
  2. A branch of a family.
  3. An advanced or leading position; the lookout.
  4. (botany) The above-ground stalk (technically axis) of a vascular plant, and certain anatomically similar, below-ground organs such as rhizomes, bulbs, tubers, and corms.
    • 1736, Sir Walter Raleigh, The History of the World in Five Books
      After they are shot up thirty feet in length, they spread a very large top, having no bough nor twig in the trunk or the stem.
    • Botany definition
      The scientific study of plants, a branch of biology. Typically those disciplines that involve the whole plant. (1 of 4 botany definitions)
    • Plant definition
      An organism that is not an animal, especially an organism capable of photosynthesis. Typically a small or herbaceous organism of this kind, rather than a tree. (1 of 15 plant definitions)
    • Bulb definition
      Any solid object rounded at one end and tapering on the other, possibly attached to a larger object at the tapered end. (1 of 5 bulb definitions)
  5. A slender supporting member of an individual part of a plant such as a flower or a leaf; also, by analogy, the shaft of a feather.
    the stem of an apple or a cherry
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  6. A narrow part on certain man-made objects, such as a wine glass, a tobacco pipe, a spoon.
  7. (linguistics) The main part of an uninflected word to which affixes may be added to form inflections of the word. A stem often has a more fundamental root. Systematic conjugations and declensions derive from their stems.
    • Linguistics definition
      The scientific study of language.
    • Inflection definition
      A change in the form of a word to express different grammatical categories. (1 of 5 inflection definitions)
  8. (slang) A person's leg.
    • 2008, Lori Wilde, Rhonda Nelson, Cara Summers, August Harlequin Blaze
      She was perfectly, fuckably proportioned everywhere else, both above and below her waist. A pocket-size Venus, with the longest stems he'd ever seen on someone so dang diminutive.
  9. (slang) The penis.
    • 2005, Eric Bogosian, Wasted Beauty, page 135:
      Waves of ecstasy roll through him as the moustachioed Casanova slides his stem in and out of the spaced-out chick.
  10. (typography) A vertical stroke of a letter.
  11. (music) A vertical stroke marking the length of a note in written music.
    Synonyms: tail, virgula (obsolete)
  12. (music) A premixed portion of a track for use in audio mastering and remixing.
    • 2019, Karl Pedersen; Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard, The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 268:
      Stem mastering process a mix by breaking it down into severable manageable pieces—that is, stereo stems. The stem approach allows the mastering engineer the opportunity to make larger or smaller changes to separate mix elements before the final compression and limiting are applied to the complete mix.
  13. (nautical) The vertical or nearly vertical forward extension of the keel, to which the forward ends of the planks or strakes are attached.
  14. (cycling) A component on a bicycle that connects the handlebars to the bicycle fork.
  15. (anatomy) A part of an anatomic structure considered without its possible branches or ramifications.
  16. (slang) A crack pipe; or the long, hollow portion of a similar pipe (i.e. meth pipe) resembling a crack pipe.
  17. (chiefly British) A winder on a clock, watch, or similar mechanism.
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.
References

stem” in the Collins English Dictionary

Verb

stem (third-person singular simple present stems, present participle stemming, simple past and past participle stemmed)

  1. To remove the stem from.
    to stem cherries; to stem tobacco leaves
  2. To be caused or derived; to originate.
    The current crisis stems from the short-sighted politics of the previous government.
  3. To descend in a family line.
    • Descend definition
      To pass from a higher to a lower place; to move downwards; to come or go down in any way, for example by falling, flowing, walking, climbing etc. (1 of 11 descend definitions)
  4. To direct the stem (of a ship) against; to make headway against.
  5. (obsolete) To hit with the stem of a ship; to ram.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      As when two warlike Brigandines at sea, / With murdrous weapons arm'd to cruell fight, / Doe meete together on the watry lea, / They stemme ech other with so fell despight, / That with the shocke of their owne heedlesse might, / Their wooden ribs are shaken nigh a sonder []
  6. To ram (clay, etc.) into a blasting hole.
Synonyms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English stemmen, a borrowing from Old Norse stemma (to stop, stem, dam) (whence Danish stemme/stæmme (to stem, dam up)), from Proto-Germanic *stammijaną. Cognate with German stemmen, Middle Dutch stemmen, stempen. Compare stammer.

Verb

stem (third-person singular simple present stems, present participle stemming, simple past and past participle stemmed)

  1. (transitive) To stop, hinder (for instance, a river or blood).
    to stem a tide
  2. (skiing) To move the feet apart and point the tips of the skis inward in order to slow down the speed or to facilitate a turn.
Synonyms
Translations

Etymology 3

Noun

stem (plural stems)

  1. Alternative form of steem

Etymology 4

Acronym of science, technology, engineering, (and) mathematics.

Noun

stem (plural stems)

  1. Alternative form of STEM
    • 2015 May 29th, BBC News, How do US black students perform at school?
      Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields are a particular cause for concern because within them there are more pronounced stereotypes, extreme competitiveness and gender inequities regarding the abilities and competencies of black male and female students.

Further reading

Anagrams


Afrikaans stem definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Dutch stem, from Middle Dutch stemme, from Old Dutch *stemma, from Proto-Germanic *stebnō, *stamnijō.

Noun

stem (plural stemme)

  1. vote
  2. voice
    • 1921, C.J. Langenhoven (lyrics), M.L. de Villiers (music), “Die Stem van Suid-Afrika”, South Africa:
      Ruis die stem van ons geliefde, van ons land Suid-Afrika.
      Rises the voice of our beloved, of our country South Africa.
    • Voice definition
      Sound uttered by the mouth, especially by human beings in speech or song; sound thus uttered considered as possessing some special quality or character (1 of 12 voice definitions)

Etymology 2

From Dutch stemmen.

Verb

stem (present stem, present participle stemmende, past participle gestem)

  1. to vote

Dutch stem definition

Etymology

From Middle Dutch stemme, from Old Dutch *stemma, from Proto-Germanic *stebnō, *stamnijō. Under influence of Latin vox (voice, word), it acquired the now obsolete sense of “word”.

Pronunciation

Noun

stem f (plural stemmen, diminutive stemmetje n)

  1. voice, sound made by the mouth using airflow
  2. the ability to speak
    Zij is haar stem kwijt.She’s lost her voice.
  3. vote
  4. (obsolete) word
    • Word definition

      The smallest unit of language that has a particular meaning and can be expressed by itself; the smallest discrete, meaningful unit of language.

      1. The smallest discrete unit of spoken language with a particular meaning, composed of one or more phonemes and one or more morphemes
      2. The smallest discrete unit of written language with a particular meaning, composed of one or more letters or symbols and one or more morphemes
      3. A discrete, meaningful unit of language approved by an authority or native speaker (compare non-word).
      (1 of 21 word definitions)
  5. (phonetics) voice, property formed by vibration of the vocal cords
    • Phonetics definition
      The study of the physical sounds of human speech, concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones), and the processes of their physiological production, auditory reception, and neurophysiological perception, and their representation by written symbols.

Derived terms

Descendants

Verb

stem

  1. first-person singular present indicative of stemmen
    • Present Tense definition
      A grammatical tense whose principal function is to locate a situation or event in the present time.
    • Stemmen definition
      definite singular of stemme
  2. imperative of stemmen

Anagrams


Latin stem definition

Verb

stem

  1. first-person singular present active subjunctive of stō
    • Sto definition
      hundred (100)

Norwegian Bokmål stem definition

Verb

stem

  1. imperative of stemme
    • Stemme definition
      Obsolete form of stem.

Norwegian Nynorsk stem definition

Verb

stem

  1. imperative of stemme

Tok Pisin stem definition

Etymology

From English stamp.

Noun

stem

  1. stamp