Grassroots vs grass roots

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Grassroots means at the most basic level. As a noun it refers to the common people, as opposed to the elite, in a political party, group or organization. As an adjective, grassroots means the most basic or fundamental members of an organization or an initiative starting at ground level. The impetus is from the bottom up, not the top down.

Grass roots is a variant that is sometimes seen in European countries, but the American form, grassroots, is quickly becoming the norm. The word was coined in American in 1910-1915. Grassroots signifies the power of that average men have in their numbers.


This decision, announced last week by Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, has been met with considerable puzzlement from those who wonder why we would demote Hamilton, the founder of our financial system, instead of Andrew Jackson, who was the architect of the Trail of Tears, an opponent of central banking, and the target of the grassroots campaign to get a woman on the twenty-dollar bill, led by the group Women on 20s. (The New Yorker)

But I saw little change for people on the ground in grassroots communities, which is where I preferred to work. (Business Insider Australia)

Engelbrecht also claimed that KSP/True the Vote was “a citizen-led liberty group,” suggesting that it was a grassroots organization comprised of concerned citizens who “pass the hat” for funding. (International Policy Digest)

Indeed, a closer examination reveals the anatomy of a legislative movement and demonstrates how grassroots pressure can turn what some considered a fringe issue into a political juggernaut. (Washington Post)

Taylor, the founder of Monarch Watch, says federal regulations would be a distraction from what’s needed to save the monarch butterfly — an upswell of grassroots activism. (UPI)