Definition of stem noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stem//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stem//
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  1. 1 the main long thin part of a plant above the ground from which the leaves or flowers grow; a smaller part that grows from this and supports flowers or leaves long, trailing stems of ivy a tall plant with branching stems There are several leaves on each stem. When the bush has finished flowering, cut back all the stems. See related entries: Plants
  2. 2the long thin part of a wine glass between the bowl and the base
  3. 3the thin tube of a tobacco pipe
  4. 4-stemmed (in adjectives) having one or more stems of the type mentioned a long-stemmed rose slender-stemmed wine glasses
  5. 5 (grammar) the main part of a word that stays the same when endings are added to it ‘Writ’ is the stem of the forms ‘writes’, ‘writing’ and ‘written’.
  6. Word Originnoun Old English stemn, stefn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stam and German Stamm. Sense (4) is related to Dutch steven, German Steven.Idioms all the way from the front of a ship to the back
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stem