The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







In common parlance, a stem is any elongated, usually narrow, extension or supporting structure of an object. Examples are the stem of a smoking pipe, stem of a cut flower, stem of a wine glass, etc. Uses of the term specific to certain fields are as follow:

  • In botany, a stem is the above ground axis of a vascular plant.
  • On a bicycle, the stem connects the fork to the handlebars.
  • In linguistics, a stem is the base part of the word including derivational affixes but not inflectional morphemes, i. e. the part of the word that remains unchanged through inflection.
  • In music, a stem is part of the annotation used to write musical notes.
  • In rock climbing, a stem is a move that involves two widely spaced holds.
  • In shipbuilding a stem is the upright structural member or post at the bow, which is attached to the foremost part of a vessel's keel.
  • In typography, a stem is the upright element of a letter or character. The letter 'i' has one stem, 'n' has two stems, and 'm' has three.
Last updated: 08-04-2005 18:35:29
The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy