Definition of at root in English:

at root


  • Basically; fundamentally.

    ‘it is a moral question at root’
    • ‘Despite the length of my approach to it the question is, at root, quite a short one.’
    • ‘And if in spite or because of new learning people still inhabit that universe then it's going to have a very profound effect on whether you accept at root the fundamental principles of western psychology for dealing with your problems.’
    • ‘But because the subordination is inspired at root by anxiety and denial, it is not a peaceable subordination.’
    • ‘But these are cavils and, at root, only the difference between fact and a greater, truth-telling fiction.’
    • ‘Those of us pining for the sensuality of the tropical island often forget that paradise is, at root, a religious notion.’
    • ‘But there is at root here something far more fundamental.’
    • ‘Ignoring the physical, technological underpinnings for now, we assert that the library is, at root, a collection of information selected for use of, and made useable for, a particular community.’
    • ‘And let's not get into the limitations of narrative structure and formulas of what makes a good story, since, of course, they're fairly archetypal (that is, repetitive) at root.’
    • ‘Psychoanalysis defines subjectivity as ‘the history of one's identifications,’ which are at root violent and subject to inversion.’
    • ‘They don't exist independently of their sources; they are a direct reflection of source activity - and therefore, at root, a tediously self-fulfilling prophecy.’