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1. Of a plant, to develop and spread roots so as to begin thriving. If you allow the weeds to take root, they'll be very difficult to remove. Once the trees take root, they should be self-sufficient.
2. By extension, to become settled, established, or in control with great power or tenacity. Panic took root as soon as the gunshot was heard. I'm afraid the cancer has taken root throughout his entire body. A push to legalize marijuana is taking root across the state.
1. Lit. [for a plant] to develop roots in soil or some other growing medium. The new plants should take root in a few weeks and start growing.
2. Fig. to begin to take hold or have effect. Things will begin to change when my new policies take root. My ideas began to take root and influence other people.
Become established or fixed, as in We're not sure how the movement took root, but it did so very rapidly. This idiom transfers the establishment of a plant, whose roots settle into the earth, to other matters. [Late 1500s]
COMMON If an idea or belief takes root, it becomes established or begins to develop. That was when the idea of starting up his own picture library began to take root. Green politics have taken firm root in Alsace, where the Green Party have a chance of gaining two seats.
take rootbecome fixed or established.
take ˈrootbecome firmly established: His ideas on education never really took root; they were just too extreme.
If a plant takes root it develops roots and attaches itself to the ground.
1. To become established or fixed.
2. To become rooted.
take root, to
To become firmly established. Likening the establishment of an idea, program, or similar abstraction to a botanical rooting is very old indeed. It appears in the Bible, where the psalmist says God has brought a vine (i.e., the Jewish people) out of Egypt and planted it, “and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land” (Psalm 80:9). Leon Trotsky allegedly said, “We only die when we fail to take root in others” (quoted in Trevor Griffiths’ play, The Party).
See also: take