Middle English Dictionary Entry

rọ̄te n.(4)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A root of a tree or other plant; the underground stock of a plant from which new shoots or leaves are periodically produced, a rhyzome, tuber; ~ ne braunch; dokke ~ [see also dokke n.1.(d)]; stumblen at rishe and ~; (b) any underground portion of a plant used as food or in medicinal preparations; also, a plant used as fodder; also fig.; -- also coll.; ~ stem; (c) drauen (renden) up bi the ~, taken up bi the rotes, to uproot (a plant), tear out by the roots; grouen on (upon) ~, grow; stonden on ~, stand upright; taken rote(s, root, take root; (d) in fig. contexts; (e) in proverbs and prov. expressions; the axe is at (put to, set at, set to) the ~, the day of reckoning has come; (f) ?a grape vine; -- based on misreading of OF raisine as racine.
(a) Fig. Something which resembles a root in function, a root-like extension; (b) fig. the depths (of sth.), inmost part; the depths of the heart; herte ~ [see also herte-rote n.(b)]; also as a term of endearment: min ouen hertes ~; (c) anat. the embedded portion of a hair (tooth, nail, etc.); the basal portion of an aposteme (a canker, fistula, etc.); the basal portion of a bodily organ or member; the base of a protuberance on the body; brest ~; drauen oute (pilen up, plukken of, tuggen up) bi the rotes; drauinge up bi the ~; (d) bi the ~, beneath the surface, in the depths; drauen (pullen) up bi the ~, to eradicate (sth.), destroy utterly; put a stop to (talk); regnen on ~, flourish; taken ~, be implanted; gain a hold, become entrenched.
(a) The base of a tree trunk, tower, etc., foot, bottom; also, the lower end of a roll-shaped compress; from crop to ~, from top to bottom; (b) the foot of a hill or mountain; (c) arch. a substructure.
(a) The basis upon which something rests, foundation; ~ of word, the heart of the matter; stonden on ~, to stand firm; (b) the fundamental or essential part, basic constituent; essential nature of God; (c) med. a basic principle; also, a fundamental division of knowledge.
(a) The source of a quality, condition, vice, virtue, etc., origin, cause; taken ~, to originate; (b) a fount of some quality, vice, etc., an epitome of a vice or virtue; -- used of a person or personified abstraction; also, an instigator of something.
(a) A person or city as the source of offspring or descendants; stock, lineage, line; (b) a descendant, scion, an offspring.
(a) Astrol. The data for a given time or period which serve as the basis for a horoscope; (b) astron. the position of the sun in angular measure for a certain date to be used as a basis for calculation of corresponding positions for other dates; (c) math. a quantity which, when multiplied by itself a given number of times, produces a given quantity, a square root, cube root, etc.
In phrases: (a) ~ and rinde, crop and ~, the essence of some quality or characteristic, ultimate perfection; also, ~ and rinde, the source [quot.: a1500(?1451)]; (b) crop) ~ and rinde, crop and ~, everything, every bit; bi ~ and rinde, completely; in crop and ~, in every way; (c) as adv.: ~ and crop (rinde), bothe) crop and ~, completely, totally; hed and ~, altogether.
In cpd.: ~ fast [cp. OI rōt-fastr], firmly rooted; fig. entrenched, firmly established.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. root.