Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Support or stabilization of a plant in the soil through the spreading of its roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Attachment by means of roots.

Etymologies

From root +‎ hold. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Its irregular top is forest-crowned, but its nearly perpendicular walls of white or red rock afford scarcely roothold for trees, and it rises in comparatively barren solitude among the forest-covered mountains of the interior.

    The Golden Chersonese and the way thither

  • Willow and witch alder, stunted birch and poplar had found roothold, clothed it, until only their crowding outposts, thrusting forward in a wavering semicircle, held back seemingly by the blue hordes, showed where it melted into the meadows.

    The Metal Monster

  • And high above in the sunshine, the pea-green candle-nut struggles with the dark ohia for precarious roothold on rocky ledges, and dense masses of Eugenia, aflame with crimson flowers, and bananas, and all the leafy wealth born of heat and damp fill up the clefts which fissure the pali.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • Wailua Falls, which leap in a broad sheet of foam and a heavy body of water into a dark basin, walled in by cliffs so hard that even the ferns and mosses which revel in damp, fail to find roothold in the naked rock.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • That engineer from the town, good man better perhaps, if he had not discovered the lad in his youth and taken him up to make something out of him; the child had lost his roothold, and suffered thereby.

    The Growth of the Soil

  • Even at the foot of the flow, where Newell now slowed Serenity to a more cautious pace as the road roughened, the volcano's influence could be seen, but here trees had managed a roothold and a struggling forest had grown up.

    Through Wolfs Eyes

  • That blackness wings over pungency of sage and scrub juniper, which clutch at every roothold.

    The Boat of a Million Years

  • Now and then our way would be barred by masses of rock fallen from above, and by whole trees blown down from their insecure roothold on the rocky cliffs; and twice we came to steep descents which would have given us trouble had we not brought along the ropes wherewith our packs had been bound.

    The Aztec Treasure-House

  • Oh! here was Sandy clambering up the rocky bank, so steep that there was roothold only for the blue-bells, with stems so slender that one name for them is "hair-bell."

    Bird Stories

  • The freshness of early summer had gone, and there was a hint of approaching autumn in the darker greenery of the firs, and the overmaturity of such shrubs and wild flowers as could find along the edge of the road a precarious roothold on the patches of ground not covered by pine needles.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate

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