from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The main ascending axis of a plant; a stalk or trunk.
- n. A slender stalk supporting or connecting another plant part, such as a leaf or flower.
- n. A banana stalk bearing several bunches of bananas.
- n. A connecting or supporting part, especially:
- n. The tube of a tobacco pipe.
- n. The slender upright support of a wineglass or goblet.
- n. The small projecting shaft with an expanded crown by which a watch is wound.
- n. The rounded rod in the center of certain locks about which the key fits and is turned.
- n. The shaft of a feather or hair.
- n. The upright stroke of a typeface or letter.
- n. Music The vertical line extending from the head of a note.
- n. The main line of descent of a family.
- n. Linguistics The main part of a word to which affixes are added.
- n. Nautical The curved upright beam at the fore of a vessel into which the hull timbers are scarfed to form the prow.
- n. The tubular glass structure mounting the filament or electrodes in an incandescent bulb or vacuum tube.
- intransitive v. To have or take origin or descent.
- transitive v. To remove the stem of.
- transitive v. To provide with a stem.
- transitive v. To make headway against: managed to stem the rebellion.
- idiom from stem to stern From one end to another.
- transitive v. To stop or hold back by or as if by damming; stanch.
- transitive v. To plug or tamp (a blast hole, for example).
- transitive v. Sports To point (skis) inward.
- intransitive v. Sports To point skis inward in order to slow down or turn.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The above-ground stalk (technically axis) of a vascular plant, and certain anatomically similar, below-ground organs such as rhizomes, bulbs, tubers, and corms.
- n. A slender supporting member of an individual part of a plant such as a flower or a leaf; also, by analogue the shaft of a feather.
- n. A narrow part on certain man-made objects, such as a wine glass, a tobacco pipe, a spoon.
- n. 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.
- n. A vertical stroke of a letter.
- n. A vertical stroke of a symbol representing a note in written music.
- n. The vertical or nearly vertical forward extension of the keel, to which the forward ends of the planks or strakes are attached.
- v. To take out the stem from.
- v. To be caused or derived; to originate.
- v. To descend in a family line.
- v. To direct the stem (of a ship) against; to make headway against.
- v. To hit with the stem of a ship; to ram.
- v. To stop, hinder (for instance, a river or blood).
- v. 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.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To gleam.
- n. A gleam of light; flame.
- n. The principal body of a tree, shrub, or plant, of any kind; the main stock; the part which supports the branches or the head or top.
- n. A little branch which connects a fruit, flower, or leaf with a main branch; a peduncle, pedicel, or petiole.
- n. The stock of a family; a race or generation of progenitors.
- n. A branch of a family.
- n. A curved piece of timber to which the two sides of a ship are united at the fore end. The lower end of it is scarfed to the keel, and the bowsprit rests upon its upper end. Hence, the forward part of a vessel; the bow.
- n. Fig.: An advanced or leading position; the lookout.
- n. Anything resembling a stem or stalk
- n. That part of a plant which bears leaves, or rudiments of leaves, whether rising above ground or wholly subterranean.
- n. The entire central axis of a feather.
- n. The basal portion of the body of one of the Pennatulacea, or of a gorgonian.
- n. The short perpendicular line added to the body of a note; the tail of a crotchet, quaver, semiquaver, etc.
- n. The part of an inflected word which remains unchanged (except by euphonic variations) throughout a given inflection; theme; base.
- transitive v. To remove the stem or stems from; ; to remove the stem and its appendages (ribs and veins) from.
- transitive v. To ram, as clay, into a blasting hole.
- transitive v. To oppose or cut with, or as with, the stem of a vessel; to resist, or make progress against; to stop or check the flow of, as a current.
- intransitive v. To move forward against an obstacle, as a vessel against a current.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The body of a tree, shrub, or plant; the firm part which supports the branches; the stock; the stalk; technically, the ascending axis, which ordinarily grows in an opposite direction to the root or descending axis.
- n. The stalk which supports the flower or the fruit of a plant; the peduncle of the fructification, or the pedicel of a flower; the petiole or leaf-stem. See cuts under pedicel, peduncle, and petiole.
- n. The stock of a family; a race; ancestry.
- n. A branch of a family; an offshoot.
- n. Anything resembling the stem of a plant.
- n. In type-founding, the thick stroke or body-mark of a roman or italic letter. See cut under type.
- n. In a vehicle, a bar to which the bow of a falling hood is hinged.
- n. The projecting rod of a reciprocating valve, serving to guide it in its action. See cut under slide-valve.
- n. In zoology and anatomy, any slender, especially axial, part like the stem of a plant; a stalk, stipe, rachis, footstalk, etc.
- n. In ornithology, the whole shaft of a feather.
- n. In entomology, the base of a clavate antenna, including all the joints except the enlarged outer ones: used especially in descriptions of the Lepidoptera.
- n. In musical notation, a vertical line added to the head of certain kinds of notes.
- n. In philology, a derivative from a root, having itself inflected forms, whether of declension or of conjugation, made from it; the unchanged part in a series of inflectional forms, from which the forms are viewed as made by additions; base; crude form.
- n. See the adjectives.
- To remove the stem of; separate from the stem: as, to stem tobacco.
- n. A curved piece of timber or metal to which the two sides of a ship are united at the foremost end.
- n. The forward part of a vessel; the bow.
- To dash against with the stem (of a vessel).
- To keep (a vessel) on its course; steer.
- To make headway against by sailing or swimming, as a tide or current; hence, in general, to make headway against (opposition of any kind).
- To make headway (as a ship); especially, to make progress in opposition to some obstruction, as a current of water or the wind.
- To head; advance head on.
- To stop; check; dam up, as a stream.
- To tamp; make tight, as a joint, with a lute or cement.
- An old spelling of steam.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the tube of a tobacco pipe
- n. front part of a vessel or aircraft
- n. a slender or elongated structure that supports a plant or fungus or a plant part or plant organ
- n. (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
- n. cylinder forming a long narrow part of something
- v. remove the stem from
- v. stop the flow of a liquid
- v. cause to point inward
- n. a turn made in skiing; the back of one ski is forced outward and the other ski is brought parallel to it
- v. grow out of, have roots in, originate in
Middle English, from Old English stefn, stemn; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English stemmen, from Old Norse stemma.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English stemn, stefn ("stem, trunk (of a tree)"), from Proto-Germanic *stamniz. (Wiktionary)
From Old Norse stemma ("to stop, stem, dam") ( > Danish stemme/stæmme ("to stem, dam up")), from Proto-Germanic *stamjan. Cognate with German stemmen; compare stammer. (Wiktionary)