Grass Roots

Also: grassroots

Meaning of Idiom ‘Grass Roots’

The grass roots means the basic level or the origin, especially the ordinary people in a country, association, trade, etc. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.


Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Usage

The grass roots is used as a noun while grassroots, without the word ‘the’ is used as an adjective. It is spelled as one word or two, but usually as two words when used as a noun and one word when used as an adjective.

Today, the grass roots most often refers to the ordinary voters in a political party as opposed to the leadership or the elite. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. The terms grassroots effortgrassroots movement, or grassroots campaign are often used to describe political or social efforts that use the ordinary people of a community, political party, etc. as the basis.

Examples of Use

“If we want to succeed,” said the senator, “we have to get back to the grass roots.”

“Despite the large amounts of money his opponent poured into the campaign, this candidate was able to win with a well-organized grass roots effort.”

“The company has long been out of touch with the grassroots. It was only a matter of time before the workers organized.”

Origin

Used since approximately 1900. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

The allusion here is simple, as the roots of grass are the primary foundation of the plant’s growth.

More Idioms Starting with F

More Grass Idioms

More Root Idioms

This page contains one or more affiliate links. See full affiliate disclosure.

Sources   [ + ]

1. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
2, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.