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Meaning of grass roots

grass' roots'

Pronunciation: [key]
— (used with a sing. or pl. v.) (used with a sing. or pl. v.)
  1. the common or ordinary people, esp. as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file.
  2. the agricultural and rural areas of a country.
  3. the people inhabiting these areas, esp. as a political, social, or economic group.
  4. the origin or basis of something; the basic or primary concept, rule, part, or the like.

grass-roots

Pronunciation: (gras'rts", -roots", gräs'-), [key]
— adj.
  1. of, pertaining to, or involving the common people, esp. as contrasted with or separable from an elite: a grass-roots movement for nuclear disarmament.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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