—n. 1. the ascending axis of a plant, whether above or below ground, which ordinarily grows in an opposite direction to the root or descending axis.
2. the stalk that supports a leaf, flower, or fruit.
3. the main body of that portion of a tree, shrub, or other plant which is above ground; trunk; stalk.
4. a cut flower: We bought roses at the flower market for 50¢ a stem. 5. a petiole; peduncle; pedicel.
6. a stalk of bananas.
7. something resembling or suggesting a leaf or flower stalk.
8. a long, slender part: the stem of a tobacco pipe. 9. the slender, vertical part of a goblet, wineglass, etc., between the bowl and the base.
10. Informal.a drinking glass having a stem.
11. the handle of a spoon.
12. a projection from the rim of a watch, having on its end a knob for winding the watch.
13. the circular rod in some locks about which the key fits and rotates.
14. the rod or spindle by which a valve is operated from outside.
15. the stock or line of descent of a family; ancestry or pedigree.
16. Gram.the underlying form, often consisting of a root plus an affix, to which the inflectional endings of a word are added, as tend-, the stem in Latin tendere “to stretch,” the root of which is ten-. Cf. base1 (def. 18), theme (def. 5).
17. Music.the vertical line forming part of a note.
18. stems,Slang.the legs of a human being.
19. the main or relatively thick stroke of a letter in printing.
—v.t. to remove the stem from (a leaf, fruit, etc.): Stem the cherries before cooking.
—v.i. to arise or originate: This project stems from last week's lecture.
—v.t. 1. to stop, check, or restrain.
2. to dam up; stop the flow of (a stream, river, or the like).
3. to tamp, plug, or make tight, as a hole or joint.
4. Skiing.to maneuver (a ski or skis) in executing a stem.
5. to stanch (bleeding).
—v.i. Skiing.to execute a stem.
—n. Skiing.the act or instance of a skier pushing the heel of one or both skis outward so that the heels are far apart, as in making certain turns or slowing down.
Pronunciation: (stem),[key] —v.t.,stemmed, stem•ming. 1. to make headway against (a tide, current, gale, etc.).
2. to make progress against (any opposition).
Pronunciation: (stem),[key] —n.Naut. 1. (at the bow of a vessel) an upright into which the side timbers or plates are jointed.
2. the forward part of a vessel (often opposed to stern).
Pronunciation: (stem),[key] —v.t.,stemmed, stem•ming. to arrange the loading of (a merchant vessel) within a specified time.