Definition of scion in US English:



  • 1A young shoot or twig of a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting.

    • ‘Time and again, I have observed suckering (vigorous growth from roots) and incompatibility between rootstock and scion.’
    • ‘It is especially important to protect the bud union (where the top scion meets the rootstock).’
    • ‘The souvenir programme for Arbor Day in 1955 includes a note on the presentation of scions of the tree, and there is a report that four newly-wed brides from Aston-on-Clun received them.’
    • ‘The interesting in more exotic and unusual varieties has enlarged the available support system, so we now get already grafted and licensed trees or, if needed, we order dormant scions from other collectors.’
    • ‘To get the best two-tone look, graft several scions randomly around the plant.’
    • ‘It's the same scion and the rootstocks are different, so you have a different tree - and there are thousands and thousands of root stocks that can affect quality, size, taste, all of these things.’
    • ‘Many kinds of pistachio trees that aren't cultivated for their nuts are instead used as rootstocks to which the upper, nut-bearing portion of the tree, or scion, is grafted.’
    • ‘In roses, their spread is chiefly caused by grafting infected scions, buds and/or root stocks.’
    • ‘Rose Wilt was long thought to be a suspected viral disease caused by grafting scions onto imported root stocks from the U.K., Canada and Australia.’
    cutting, graft, slip
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  • 2A descendant of a notable family.

    ‘he was the scion of a wealthy family’
    • ‘Like their ancestors, the scions of pre-Hispanic rulers were especially keen patrons.’
    • ‘Even more infuriating to people like her, poorer students sometimes pass the entrance exams while scions of wealthy families fail to make the grade.’
    • ‘He is the scion of a wealthy Saudi family that made its fortune in the construction business.’
    • ‘Up north, the Yankees are in disarray as former scions of industry go on trial and the stock market does a passable impersonation of a weapon of mass destruction.’
    • ‘He has been identified, or at least in the eyes of his critics, as the scion of important political family, one in which he's had to do very little on his own to be successful.’
    • ‘Is a global social conscience a luxury only the pampered scions of the middle classes can afford?’
    • ‘It might seem non-egalitarian, but consider that for the past two years we've been trying to ratify the succession of one of two political dynasties - neither of whose scions has had a non-political aspiration since birth.’
    • ‘Her genetic legacy (and her mother's, and her mother's mother's…) abides in her scions.’
    • ‘George Washington was a scion and leader of Virginia's landed, slaveowning gentry.’
    • ‘However, with the results of our experiments with the scion's blood sample, it is possible that a cure may be devised for this malady.’
    • ‘She is after all the scion of mighty kings, no matter how ill-gotten she may be.’
    • ‘Investment management was originally more of an art form than a science, gut instinct and personal knowledge being the main weapons of many of the scions of Wall Street whose eponymous practices now dominate the world.’
    • ‘Every so often I try and re-invent myself as a scion of publishing and literature.’
    • ‘The scion of a courtier family with wealthy estates in Buckinghamshire and Yorkshire, he received a gentleman's education at Oxford and the Inns of Court, before embarking on the Grand Tour of Europe.’
    • ‘Remember, no matter how the scion may seem, so long as there is light in his eyes, there is still hope.’
    • ‘Companies of cadets (a term originally meaning the younger scions of noble houses) were first formed in France in 1682, to teach young noblemen the duties of an officer.’
    • ‘John was the scion of a family that thrived on back-stabbing.’
    • ‘The other night I dined with him and his charming hosts, scions of one of America's oldest corporations.’
    • ‘How can we Americans, scions of Jefferson and Paine that we are, ever rest easy if we allow such a capitulation to take place?’
    • ‘She saw all the scions of London society standing around gossiping about the young people on the dance floor.’
    descendant, offshoot
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Middle English: from Old French ciun ‘shoot, twig’, of unknown origin.