One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The source of a person's most profound emotions; the bottom of the heart. Also in plural in same sense. Compare "heart", "root". Now poetic and rare.
2A large, obliquely descending tree root, as contrasted with a vertical taproot or a horizontal root. Frequently attributive, especially in "heart-root system".
Middle English; earliest use found in Trinity Cambridge Manuscript. From heart + root. In some forms probably originally reflecting a genitive compound with unmarked first element. In some forms from the genitive of heart + root.
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