WOTW: stem

| - Tim Lake |

triplo word of the week - step


“Stem” is a word with several different meanings. The main one is to do with plants. Let’s have a look:


The first meaning of the noun “stem” is the main long body of a plant, shrub or flower.


+ Every year we cut the old stems down to ground level.

+ He was outside the shop sweeping dead leaves and flower stems, when she walked by.

+ She cut off the bottom of the stems before arranging them in the vase.

+ Once plants have grown strong stems, they stand upright and reach for the sun.


There are some other meanings of the noun “stem” that have a similar meaning.


+ Her fingers tightly grasped the stem of the wine glass. (the thin section between the base and the bowl).

+ Many English word stems are from Latin or Greek. (the main part of a word).

+ The stems of his notes are beautifully written. (a vertical stroke of a musical note).

+ The handle bars are mounted on a stem of the bicycle’s front wheel. (a round rod or shaft).


One of the most useful meanings of the verb “stem” is, comes from, starts from or caused by. It is always used as “stems from”.


+ Many problems stem from the business’s very rapid growth.

+ My best memories of tennis all stem from playing at Wimbledon.

+ Many of the difficulties stem from the continually falling prices.

+ The origin of the band stem from him wanting to explore free jazz in a big band setting.


A very different meaning of the verb “stem” is to stop or restrict something.


+ The nurse did her best to stem the bleeding.

+ The UN is trying to stem the flow of refugees and restore stability in the region.

+ The government is attempting to stem the rise of unemployment.

+ There are no effective ways to stem the impacts of climate change.


Recently, the word STEM has become popular in education. It stands from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.


There are some less common meanings of “stem”. Check lexico if you are interested: https://www.lexico.com/definition/stem


The pronunciation is /stɛm/.

発音は/stɛm/ です。


この単語は、英語で最もよく使われる3,000の単語のリストであるNew General Service Listからのものです。完全なリストはこちらから。