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the grass roots
The ordinary people in a group, as opposed to the leaders. Why shouldn't ordinary people take action? The grass roots of our society have been able to bring about major changes in the past.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
the grass roots
COMMON The grass roots of an organization or movement are the ordinary people who form the main part of it, rather than its leaders. The revolution is actually coming from the grass roots and I think eventually the authorities will follow. This was a truly socialist party, ultimately controlled by its grass roots. Note: Grass-roots or grassroots can be used before a noun. The proposal is backed by grass-roots activists. The president won the election after a grassroots campaign. The leadership has become detached from what's going on at grassroots level.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
the ˌgrass ˈrootsthe ordinary people in an organization, for example a political party or trade union, and not the officials: The leaders of this union are losing contact with their members. They need to get back in touch with the grass roots. ▶ ˌgrass-ˈroots adj.: a grass-roots movement
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
The fundamental level of anything; specifically, the rank and file of the electorate. Both usages date from about 1900, but the more common one today is the political one. Thus a candidate might concentrate on appealing to the grass roots of his or her constituency, or be said to be running a grass roots campaign.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer