See also: Stem, STEM, stém, and stêm

English

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English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Pronunciation

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  • enPR: stĕm, IPA(key): /stɛm/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛm

Etymology 1

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From Middle English stem, stemme, stempne, stevin, from Old English stemn, from Proto-Germanic *stamniz, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (to stand, stay).

Noun

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stem (plural stems)

  1. The stock of a family; a race or generation of progenitors.
  2. A branch of a family.
    1. (taxonomy) A branch, or group of branches, located outside a family or other cladistic group, but which is more closely related to that group than to any other taxon of the same rank.
  3. An advanced or leading position; the lookout.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, The Church-history of Britain; [], London: [] Iohn Williams [], →OCLC:
      Wolsey sat at the stem more than twenty years.
  4. (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.
    • 1736, Sir Walter Raleigh, The History of the World in Five Books:
      After they are shot up thirty feet in length, they spread a very large top, having no bough nor twig in the trunk or the stem.
  5. A slender supporting member of an individual part of a plant such as a flower or a leaf; also, by analogy, the shaft of a feather.
    the stem of an apple or a cherry
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, pages 206–7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  6. A narrow part on certain man-made objects, such as a wine glass, a tobacco pipe, a spoon.
  7. (linguistics) The main part of an uninflected word to which affixes may be added to form inflections of the word. A stem often has a more fundamental root. Systematic conjugations and declensions derive from their stems.
  8. (slang) A person's leg.
    • 2008, Lori Wilde, Rhonda Nelson, Cara Summers, August Harlequin Blaze:
      She was perfectly, fuckably proportioned everywhere else, both above and below her waist. A pocket-size Venus, with the longest stems he'd ever seen on someone so dang diminutive.
  9. (slang) The penis.
    • 2005, Eric Bogosian, Wasted Beauty, page 135:
      Waves of ecstasy roll through him as the moustachioed Casanova slides his stem in and out of the spaced-out chick.
  10. (typography) A vertical stroke of a letter.
  11. (music) A vertical stroke marking the length of a note in written music.
    Synonyms: tail, (obsolete) virgula
  12. (music) A premixed portion of a track for use in audio mastering and remixing.
    • 2019, Karl Pedersen, Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard, The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 268:
      Stem mastering processes a mix by breaking it down into several manageable pieces—that is, stereo stems. The stem approach allows the mastering engineer the opportunity to make larger or smaller changes to separate mix elements before the final compression and limiting are applied to the complete mix.
  13. (nautical) The vertical or nearly vertical forward extension of the keel, to which the forward ends of the planks or strakes are attached.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
      Both we will walke vpon the loftie cliffes,
      And Chriſtian Merchants that with Ruſſian ſtems
      Plow vp huge furrowes in the Caſpian ſea,
      Shall vaile to vs, as Lords of al the Lake.
  14. (cycling) A component on a bicycle that connects the handlebars to the bicycle fork.
  15. (anatomy) A part of an anatomic structure considered without its possible branches or ramifications.
  16. (slang) A crack pipe; or the long, hollow portion of a similar pipe (i.e. meth pipe) resembling a crack pipe.
  17. (chiefly British) A winder on a clock, watch, or similar mechanism.
Derived terms
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Translations
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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
References
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stem”, in Collins English Dictionary.

Verb

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stem (third-person singular simple present stems, present participle stemming, simple past and past participle stemmed)

  1. To remove the stem from.
    to stem cherries; to stem tobacco leaves
  2. To be caused or derived; to originate.
    The current crisis stems from the short-sighted politics of the previous government.
    • 2023 June 2, H Conley, “Studies show top surgery is safe for fat patients, but some surgeons still mandate weight loss”, in STAT[1]:
      Weight stigma often stems from an idea that patients are at fault for their body size.
  3. To descend in a family line.
  4. To direct the stem (of a ship) against; to make headway against.
  5. (obsolete) To hit with the stem of a ship; to ram.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      As when two warlike Brigandines at sea, / With murdrous weapons arm'd to cruell fight, / Doe meete together on the watry lea, / They stemme ech other with so fell despight, / That with the shocke of their owne heedlesse might, / Their wooden ribs are shaken nigh a sonder []
  6. To ram (clay, etc.) into a blasting hole.
Synonyms
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Translations
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Etymology 2

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From Middle English stemmen, a borrowing from Old Norse stemma (to stop, stem, dam) (whence Danish stemme/stæmme (to stem, dam up)), from Proto-Germanic *stammijaną. Cognate with German stemmen, Middle Dutch stemmen, stempen. Compare stammer.

Verb

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stem (third-person singular simple present stems, present participle stemming, simple past and past participle stemmed)

  1. (transitive) To stop, hinder (for instance, a river or blood).
    to stem a tide
  2. (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.
  3. In rock climbing, to use a stance with the feet spread apart, bracing them in opposite directions against the two walls of a chimney or dihedral.
Synonyms
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Translations
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Etymology 3

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Noun

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stem (plural stems)

  1. Alternative form of steem

Etymology 4

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Acronym of science, technology, engineering, (and) mathematics.

Noun

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stem (plural stems)

  1. Alternative form of STEM
    • 2015 May 29, BBC News, How do US black students perform at school?:
      Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields are a particular cause for concern because within them there are more pronounced stereotypes, extreme competitiveness and gender inequities regarding the abilities and competencies of black male and female students.

Further reading

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Etymology 5

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Blend of stud +‎ femme

Noun

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stem (plural stems)

  1. A lesbian, chiefly African-American, exhibiting both stud and femme traits.
    Synonym: futch

Anagrams

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Afrikaans

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Dutch stem, from Middle Dutch stemme, from Old Dutch *stemma, from Proto-Germanic *stebnō, *stamnijō.

Noun

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stem (plural stemme)

  1. vote
  2. voice
    • 1921, “Die Stem van Suid-Afrika”, C.J. Langenhoven (lyrics), M.L. de Villiers (music), South Africa:
      Ruis die stem van ons geliefde, van ons land Suid-Afrika.
      Rises the voice of our beloved, of our country South Africa.

Etymology 2

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From Dutch stemmen.

Verb

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stem (present stem, present participle stemmende, past participle gestem)

  1. to vote

Dutch

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Etymology

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From Middle Dutch stemme, from Old Dutch *stemma, from Proto-Germanic *stebnō, *stamnijō. Under influence of Latin vox (voice, word), it acquired the now obsolete sense of “word”.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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stem f (plural stemmen, diminutive stemmetje n)

  1. voice, sound made by the mouth using airflow
  2. the ability to speak
    Zij is haar stem kwijt.She’s lost her voice.
  3. vote
  4. (obsolete) word
  5. (phonetics) voice, property formed by vibration of the vocal cords

Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • Afrikaans: stem
  • Negerhollands: stem
  • Aukan: sitemu
  • Caribbean Javanese: setèm, nyetèm, nyetèmi
  • Indonesian: sêtèm
  • Indonesian: suara (semantic loan)
  • Papiamentu: stèm
  • Sranan Tongo: sten, stèm

Verb

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stem

  1. inflection of stemmen:
    1. first-person singular present indicative
    2. imperative

Anagrams

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Indonesian

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Etymology

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From English stem, from Middle English stem, stemme, stempne, stevin, from Old English stemn, from Proto-Germanic *stamniz, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (to stand, stay).

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): [ˈstem]
  • Hyphenation: stém

Noun

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stem (first-person possessive stemku, second-person possessive stemmu, third-person possessive stemnya)

  1. (nautical) stem: the vertical or nearly vertical forward extension of the keel, to which the forward ends of the planks or strakes are attached.

Further reading

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Latin

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Pronunciation

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Verb

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stem

  1. first-person singular present active subjunctive of stō

Norwegian Bokmål

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Verb

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stem

  1. imperative of stemme

Norwegian Nynorsk

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Verb

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stem

  1. imperative of stemme

Tok Pisin

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Etymology

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From English stamp.

Noun

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stem

  1. stamp