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Header of stem


Stem appears in the following palindrome (phrase that reads the same backward as forward):

  • Stem leprosy, obese boys, or pelmets.
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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun stem:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb stem:


Stem is sometimes a misspelling of steam.

The word stem is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Time lapse CU germinating sunflower seed on soil. Seed grows roots, stem grows up vertically. Several plants growing vertically.
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Definition of the noun stem

What does stem mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: stems

  1. (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
  2. a slender or elongated structure that supports a plant or fungus or a plant part or plant organ
    • lexical domain: Plants - nouns denoting plants
    • synonym of stem: stalk
    • more generic term: plant organ = a functional and structural unit of a plant or fungus
    • more specific terms:
      • gynophore = the stalk of a pistil that raises it above the receptacle
      • carpophore = a slender stalk that furnishes an axis for a carpel
      • corn stalk / cornstalk = the stalk of a corn plant
      • filament = the stalk of a stamen
      • funiculus / funicle = the stalk of a plant ovule or seed
      • petiolule = the stalk of a leaflet
      • cane = a strong slender often flexible stem as of bamboos, reeds, rattans, or sugar cane
      • sporangiophore = stalk bearing one or more sporangia
      • cutting / slip = a part (sometimes a root or leaf or bud) removed from a plant to propagate a new plant through rooting or grafting
      • tuber = a fleshy underground stem or root serving for reproductive and food storage
      • rootstalk / rootstock / rhizome = a horizontal plant stem with shoots above and roots below serving as a reproductive structure
      • axis = the main stem or central part about which plant organs or plant parts such as branches are arranged
      • caudex = woody stem of palms and tree ferns
      • beanstalk = stem of a bean plant
      • phylloclade / cladophyll / phylloclad / cladode = a flattened stem resembling and functioning as a leaf
      • caudex / stock = persistent thickened stem of a herbaceous perennial plant
      • stipe = supporting stalk or stem-like structure especially of a pistil or fern frond or supporting a mushroom cap
      • flower stalk / scape = erect leafless flower stalk growing directly from the ground as in a tulip
      • leafstalk / petiole = the slender stem that supports the blade of a leaf
      • bulb = a modified bud consisting of a thickened globular underground stem serving as a reproductive structure
      • corm = solid swollen underground bulb-shaped stem or stem base and serving as a reproductive structure
      • branch = a division of a stem, or secondary stem arising from the main stem of a plant
      • culm = stem of plants of the Gramineae
      • haulm / halm = stems of beans and peas and potatoes and grasses collectively as used for thatching and bedding
      • tree trunk / trunk / bole = the main stem of a tree; usually covered with bark
    • parts:
      • internode = a segment of a stem between two nodes
      • receptacle = enlarged tip of a stem that bears the floral parts
      • leaf node / node = the small swelling that is the part of a plant stem from which one or more leaves emerge
  3. cylinder forming a long narrow part of something
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of stem: shank
    • more generic word: cylinder = a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
    • part of: anchor / ground tackle = a mechanical device that prevents a vessel from moving; grip / handgrip / handle / hold = the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it; key = metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated; nail = a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials as a fastener; pin = a small slender (often pointed) piece of wood or metal used to support or fasten or attach things; wineglass = a glass that has a stem and in which wine is served
  4. the tube of a tobacco pipe
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic words: tube / tubing = conduit consisting of a long hollow object (usually cylindrical) used to hold and conduct objects or liquids or gases
    • part of: pipe / tobacco pipe = a tube with a small bowl at one end
  5. front part of a vessel or aircraft
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonyms of stem: bow / fore / prow
    • more generic word: front = the side that is seen or that goes first
    • part of: vessel / watercraft = a craft designed for water transportation
  6. a turn made in skiing; the back of one ski is forced outward and the other ski is brought parallel to it
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of stem: stem turn
    • more generic words: turn / turning = the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course

Alternative definition of the noun stem


  1. [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.
  2. 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.
  3. A narrow part on certain man-made objects, such as a wine glass, a tobacco pipe, a spoon.
  4. [linguistic morphology] 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.
  5. [typography] A vertical stroke of a letter.
  6. [music] A vertical stroke of a symbol representing a note in written music.
  7. [nautical] The vertical or nearly vertical forward extension of the keel, to which the forward ends of the planks or strakes are attached.

Specialised definition of the noun stem

Glossary of sports / darts

the plastic or metal part of the dart that screws into the barrel and holds the flight (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

Glossary of sports / sailing

the curved timber at the bow of a boat (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

Definition of the verb stem

What does stem mean as a doing word?

Stem is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: stemmed, stemming

  1. grow out of, have roots in, originate in
  2. cause to point inward
    • example: stem your skis
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: orient = cause to point
  3. stop the flow of a liquid
    • example: stem the tide
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of stem: halt / stanch / staunch
    • more generic word: check = arrest the motion (of something) abruptly
  4. remove the stem from

Other definitions of stem

What does stem also mean?


  1. scanning transmission electron microscope
  2. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


Stem is a town in Granville County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 463 at the 2010 Census.


  1. Stem is a musical group, record producers.
  2. Stem is a four piece alternative rock band from Oxford.
    • album: "Creepy Bill"

There are other groups with in their name, like Stem Tips.


  1. "Stem": "Stem," also known by its Japanese translated title "Kuki" is a song written by Japanese singer Ringo Sheena and released in several versions.
    • also known as 莖(STEM)~諸侯出遊篇~
  2. "Stem" is a song by DJ Shadow from his 1996 debut album Endtroducing...... The song reached #9 on the Ireland singles chart, DJ Shadow's only ever top 10 hit.
  3. "Stem" is a 1996 single by DJ Shadow.
    • released in (20 years ago)
  4. "Stem" is a musical album of Celelalte Cuvinte.
    • released on (7 years ago)
  5. "Stem" is a musical album of Evelyn Morris.
    • released on (5 years ago)


  1. The stem is the most forward part of a boat or ship's bow and is an extension of the keel itself. The stem is the curved edge stretching from the keel below, up to the gunwale of the boat. The stem is more often found on wooden boats or ships, but not exclusively. The stem is part of the physical structure of a wooden boat or ship that gives it strength at the critical section of the structure, bringing together the port and starboard side planks of the hull.
  2. The stem is the component on a bicycle that connects the handlebars to the steerer tube of the bicycle fork.
    • also known as Вынос руля
  3. Stem: Stems can refer to two things in music: music notation and audio production.
    • also known as 符桿
  4. The stem technique in skiing is a method for turning the skier. It is usually credited to the Austrian Mathias Zdarsky who developed it in the 1890s. Its variations gradually replaced the telemark technique in Alpine skiing.
  5. Stem a.k.a. Nucleic acid double helix: In molecular biology, the term double helix refers to the structure formed by double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids such as DNA. The double helical structure of a nucleic acid complex arises as a consequence of its secondary structure, and is a fundamental component in determining its tertiary structure. The term entered popular culture with the publication in 1968 of The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, by James Watson.
  6. Stem: In audio production, a stem is a group of audio sources mixed together, usually by one person, to be dealt with downstream as one unit. A single stem may be delivered in mono, stereo, or in multiple tracks for surround sound.

Phrases with Stem

Phrases starting with the word Stem:

  1. stem cell
  2. stem turn
  3. Stem-Cell
  4. Stem Siren
  5. stem vowel
  6. stem blight
  7. stem canker
  8. stem ginger
  9. stem stitch
  10. stem-winder
  11. Stem Campion
  12. stem lettuce

Phrases ending with the word Stem:

  1. I-Stem
  2. O-Stem
  3. U-Stem
  4. to stem
  5. blue stem
  6. brain stem
  7. brain-stem
  8. onion stem

View more phrases with the word Stem in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Stem

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe Syntax of Chichewa (2004)

by Sam Mchombo

and, further, the verb stem is the input to nominalization processes, as shown below. In many respects, derivational morphology in Chichewa ...

Google previewBotanical Terminology (1826)

Or Dictionary Explaining the Terms Most Generally Employed in Systematic Botany by G. N. Lloyd

Caudex ascendens ; the ascending stem is that part which forms the trunk of the tree. descendens ; the descending stem is that part which forms the root. * intermedius; the intermediate stem is that part which is between the root and the ...

Google previewBotanical Terminology; Or Dictionary Explaining the Terms Most Generally Employed in Systematic Botany (1826)

by G. N. Lloyd

intermedius; the intermediate stem is that part which is between the root and the branches. Caudiculum (dimin. from cauda), a little tail. Caulescens, having a stem; opposed to acaulis, stemless. Caulinus, when applied to a leaf it ...

Google previewGeneral Botany (1994)

by E. N. Transeau

The upright stem is the common type and has many advantages over a horizontal stem. Upright stems. The photographer uses light to effect chemical changes in photographic papers and plates. Light also brings about chemical changes in ...

Google previewAthabaskan Prosody (2005)

by Sharon Hargus, Keren Rice

First, morphologically, the stem is an obligatory constituent of the verb; while prefixes may be phonologically null, the stem is always there. Second, syntactically, the stem is the lexical head of its phrase, providing category information. Finally ...

Google previewWhat Is the Structure of a Plant? (2014)

by Louise Spilsbury

A stem is the stalk from which buds, shoots, and leaves grow. Stems have hollow tubes inside them. These work like drinking straws. They carry water and nutrients up from the roots to the other parts of the plant. 8 The water that travels up the ...

Google previewMongolian English Dictionary (2013)

by Bawden,

stem (of anote) (mus.) 5. stick (of a match) 6. (~ мод) pole, flagpole, flagstaff7. (тамхины ~) paper tube (of a Russian cigarette), иштэй тамхи Russian cigarette with a paper tube ИШ II. 1. |~ баримт) source ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Crazy Quilt Stitches and Motifs (1997)

by Linda Causee

Stem. Stitch. Bring needle up at 1. Hold thread down with the thumb of your non- stitching hand. Reinsert needle at 2 and bring up at 3, about halfway between 1 and 2. Pull the thread through and continue in this manner with thread held below ...

Google previewA Dictionary of the Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, and Plants, Most Commonly Cultivated in the Plantations, Gardens, and Stoves, of Great-Britain, Etc (1790)

by Charles BRYANT (Naturalist)

Stem 'armed with numerous; double spines, some larger and some smaller. Lobes of the leaves oval, on spiny footstalks. Flowers double, pale yellow. Get-mina globular. Double Yellow Rose.

Google previewLexicon of Inscriptional Qatabanian (1989)

by Stephen David Ricks

APPENDIX A GENERAL ABBREVIATIONS abbreviation adjective adverb cardinal compare collective compound conjunction verb stem with doubled second radical (cf. Ar fa“ala) definite demonstrative dual enclitic especially etymology ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches, Including Crewel (2012)

by Marion Nichols

STEM (Outline) . CREWEL . CABLE OUTLINE . SPLIT . ANGLED SATIN (Slanted Satin) . STACKED OUTLINE (Encroaching Outline, Encroaching Stem) . REGULAR LONG AND SHORT (Brick) . LONG AND SHORT (Irregular) BAR SATIN ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words (2008)

by Diagram Group

runner A stem that grows horizontally on the soil surface and roots at the nodes (leaf joints) as it spreads. scarifying (1) A technique of removing thatch (moss and dead grass that builds up in grassed ...

Google previewThe British Encyclopedia, Or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (1809)

Comprising an Accurate and Popular View of the Present Improved State of Human Knowledge : Illustrated with Upwards of 150 Elegant Engravings. A - B. 1 by William Nicholson

cuulina, stem leaves, and rrrmea, branched leaves. The situation of the latter is either alternate, opposite, scattered, or clustered. Several leaves standing round astem or branch are termed verticillata, whorled; such are either ternnte, ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Stem

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Photos about Stem

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Small photo of Dry stems on the sky. Dry stems have strange shapes. The stem is shaped like a face. log wood.Small photo of Red stem FilareeSmall photo of Curved bamboo stems and a black oak stemSmall photo of rose on a white background without stem stem stemsSmall photo of Tiger lily is an upright plant, with an erect stem reaching 3 to 5 feet tall. Long, lance-shaped, dark green leaves extend horizontally from the stems.Small photo of Stem of shrubs. Red stems. Braiding of stems treesSmall photo of group of little schoolgirls working with laptop together on stem education class More...

Videos about Stem

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View more videos about A Stem, Stem Cell, Brain Stem, Stem Siren, Stem and Leaf, and Consonant Stem.

See also the pronunciation examples of Stem!

Quotes about Stem

Well, there are two kinds of stem cells: adult stem cells, which you can get from any part of a grown body, and embryonic stem cells. These are the inner- core of days-old embryos that can develop into any kind of cell. (Mort Kondracke)
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Scrabble value of S1T1E1M3

The value of this 4-letter word is 6 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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