What does "rooting" mean in the following passage?

.... If the sites we visit grow and shrink in popularity in a matter of years, we can't experience the same type of "rooting" we traditionally enjoyed in offline communities. Also, as online friends quickly come and go, what does that say about our ability to form lasting relationships?

The double quotation marks are there in the original text, but it is not mentioned about it.

  • 1
    Where does the quoted passage come from? Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 11:15
  • merriam-webster.com/dictionary/root has some relevant definitions under root verb (1)
    – Stuart F
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 11:16
  • @StuartF I think it is rather verb (3).
    – fev
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 11:20
  • Lacking more context, it's impossible to say what it means. It could mean, in a figurative sense, growing roots. It could mean digging around (in stacks of books, stashes of antiques, etc). My money would be on "growing roots".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 12:38
  • 1
    "growing roots"- settling down there in the net as networking, expanding relationships, and establishing online identity ... - is quite satisfactory. Thank you all for your great help!
    – user437115
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


The idiom is “to put down roots.” It’s a metaphor from plant growth.

If you put down roots, you know local people well.

Calling it “rooting” is odd.

  • Thank you for you helpful answer. I prefer it is an intransitive verb: to grow roots AND also to have a base.
    – user437115
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 14:46

Rooting comes from root for

to express or show support for (a person, a team, etc.) : to hope for the success of (someone or something)

  • Good luck on your upcoming show. Remember that we're all rooting for you. (M-W)

In your passage the -ing form is used as a noun.

  • Thank you everyone. Thank you for your helpful comments. I understand the context is not enough. I thought having "close relationship with an environment" (merriam-webster noun 3-e ) sounds figurative and is best fitting, but it is a verb. It means like encouraging /giving support each other. Am I right?
    – user437115
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 13:23
  • This answer is plausible but we need more context, there are three meanings of rooting that could apply
    – djs
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 13:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.