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  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. (linguistics) The main part of an uninflected word to which endings may be added to form inflections of the word.
  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. (FM 55-501).
  • German: Wortstamm
verb (stem, m, ing)
  1. To descend in a family line.
  2. To be caused or derived; to originate.
    • The current crisis stems from the short-sighted politics of the previous government.
      1. To take out the stem from something.
      2. To stop, hinder (for instance, a river or blood).
    • stem a tide
      1. (skiing) To move the feet apart and point the tips of the skis inward in order to slow down the speed or to facilitate a turn.

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