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1. the first aerial part of a plant to develop from a germinating seed
2. any new growth of a plant, such as a bud, young branch, etc.
3. Chiefly Brit a meeting or party organized for hunting game with guns
4. an area or series of coverts and woods where game can be hunted with guns
5. a steep descent in a stream; rapid
6. Informal a photographic assignment
7. Geology mining a narrow workable vein of ore



in botany, one of the principal organs of higher plants; it consists of a stem with leaves and buds. The shoot and root systems constitute the vegetative body of ferns, horsetails, club mosses, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. For this reason, such plants are given the special designation “cormophytes” (as opposed to thallophytes).

Shoots arose in higher plants as a phylogenic adaptation to terrestrial life. The earliest terrestrial flora—the psilophytes—had neither shoots nor roots; their dichotomously branched bodies consisted of vegetative and sporebearing leafless branchlets—telomes. Shoots formed as a result of the aggregation and coalescence of telomes, whereas leaves arose either as surface outgrowths on axils (microphyllous line of evolution—club mosses) or as a result of the flattening and concrescence of entire systems of telomes (macrophyllous line—fernlike and seed plants). The intrinsic unity of the shoot lies in the common origin of leaves and stems and the unity of their vascular system. Further evidence is the ontogenetic formation of leaves and stems from the single mass of the meristem (growing point).

The development of the shoot and, hence, of cormophytes marked a particularly important stage in the development of the plant world. The photosynthesizing surface increased sharply owing to the flat shape of the leaves. The intensification of transpiration that resulted fostered the development of true roots as perfect organs for the absorption of water and mineral salts. As a result, shoot-bearing plants became distributed on the earth’s entire land surface and have dominated the plant cover since the Carboniferous.

Primordial forms of shoots—assimilating and sporebearing forms—performed only the basic functions of photosynthesis and reproduction. The functions of shoots subsequently became more diverse. In the typical assimilating shoot the most important vital functions are divided among its separate organs. The leaves are the organs of photosynthesis and transpiration. The stems are support organs on which the leaves are arranged in positions most favorable for photosynthesis and for conducting water, salts, and plastic matter. The buds are organs of growth, renewal, and vegetative reproduction. They include foci of meristem capable of ensuring apical growth of the shoot (terminal bud) and branching of the shoot, that is, the formation of shoots of consequent orders and the formation of a shoot system (lateral buds). Metamerism—the recurrence of structural parts along the longitudinal axis—is characteristic of shoots.

Common features of the shoot are a node, which has a leaf or whorl of leaves departing from it, and the internode. Buds are usually located in the axils, and the metameres that appear successively on the growing point of the shoot change regularly from the base to the apex.

In annual plants, all shoots live for only one season. In perennials, the shoots may vary in life-span, but each year the buds produce regenerative shoots that become part of the perennial shoot system and replace the shoots of preceding generations. A shoot that develops from a single focus of apical meristem may grow apically (monopodially) for a limited time or for a very long time; its growth may subsequently be interrupted by external or internal factors (winter, drought, correlations in the growth of various organs). A shoot that grows out of a bud during a single growth period is said to be elementary; one that grows during the course of a year is called an annual shoot. In temperate climates, most woody plants have only one accretion per year; hence their elementary growth is also annual. But in oaks, for example, there is often a second growth period in midsummer, when lammas shoots are formed; in such a case, the annual growth consists of two elementary periods. The shoots of citrus plants often yield three or four new growths per year; tropical trees (cacao, Para rubber tree) yield as many as seven. The perennial skeletal shoots of woody plants are formed from a series of annual shoots. The length of the internodes in elementary or annual shoots reflects changes in growing intensity: at the base of a shoot the internodes are usually short, in the middle they are longer, and toward the apex they are again short. Such growth characterizes Sorbus, honeysuckle, bird cherry, dock, and yarrow. In some plants, such as linden, elm, and hazelnut, the last internode of an annual shoot is the longest as a result of the underdevelopment and death of the apical part. Underdevelopment of internodes and approximation of leaves lead to the formation of rosette shoots. The length of the internodes also determines whether the shoots are long or short. Short shoots are often specialized in trees as flower-bearers (fruit spurs); their green leaves are few in number or underdeveloped leaves (in cherry, almond, elm, dwarf bay). In herbs, however, the flower-bearing shoots are long. In meadow grasses, long shoots constitute the principal mass of hay, and the short ones are the basis of pasturage. In fruit trees and shrubs, the long shoots form the skeleton of the crown, while the short ones yield the fruit. Depending on the purpose for which woody plants are grown, the ratio of long shoots to short shoots can be regulated by pruning.

The size and shape of leaves along the longitudinal axis change regularly: the lower ones are often scalelike, the middle ones are green and broad, and the upper ones are bracteal. This difference, known as heterophylly, is determined by change in the age of the growing point of the shoot and by conditions during leaf formation.

Two phases are distinguished in the formation and growth of a shoot: the embryonic stage, in which new organs of the shoot are laid down, and the postembryonic stage, when already formed organs unfold and grow. Sometimes new organs are formed during the postembryonic stage. If all the elements of a potential annual shoot, including the inflorescence and the flowers, are laid down in the bud of a perennial plant before the winter, then only the unfolding of organs occurs in the spring (in the majority of trees and shrubs of the temperate zone and in early-flowering perennial herbs). If, however, the shoot is only partially laid down in the wintering bud, then in the spring and summer, along with the unfolding of already formed elements of the annual shoot, new metameres form (in suckers of trees and shrubs and in late-flowering herbs). In annuals the growth of shoots results from the formation of new elements on the growing point.

Shoots may be orthotropic or plagiotropic. In the first case, the shoot grows vertically upward or, very rarely, downward; plagiotropic shoots grow in a horizontal or inclined direction. In herbaceous plants the shoots are often anisotropic, that is, they change their direction of growth. They grow horizontally at first and then bend and grow vertically. Formation of the inflorescence in an anisotropic plant begins, as a rule, only with transition of the shoot to an orthotropic position.

The development of shoots in perennial and annual herbs is usually effected by the formation of inflorescences and flowers. However, after flowering and fruiting the shoots of perennials do not die completely. Their basal sections, which bear the regenerative buds, are preserved. The developmental cycle of such a monocarpous shoot from the opening of the bud to fruiting may last for one vegetative period (monocyclic shoots—in rose bay, Solomon’s seal, figwort), two years (dicyclic shoots—in lungwort), or three or more years (tricyclic and polycyclic shoots—in Stipa, tufted hair grass, wintergreen).

In addition to typical assimilating aboveground shoots, plants form various types of metamorphosed shoots with specific structural-biological features associated with the functions of storage, regeneration, vegetative reproduction, protection (thorns), or climbing (tendrils). The formation of the flower as an organ of seed reproduction is also classified as shoot metamorphosis. The many types of shoots, which determine the life forms of plants, arose in a long process of evolution as an adaptation to various habitats and, in cultivated plants, to environmental changes caused by man.


Serebriakov, I. G. Morfologiia vegetativnykh organov vysshikh rastenii. Moscow, 1952.
Serebriakov, I. G. Ekologicheskaia morfologiia rastenii. Moscow, 1962.
Meier, K. I. Morfologiia vysshikh rastenii. Moscow, 1958.
Sinnott, E. Morfogenez rastenii. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Pervukhina, N. V. Problemy morfologii i biologii tsvetka. Leningrad, 1970.
Zimmermann, W. Die Telomtheorie. Stuttgart, 1965. Lehrbuch der Botanik, 30th ed. Jena, 1971.


What does it mean when you dream about shooting?

To shoot in a dream (e.g., a gun or a game of pool) indicates success in the dreamer’s endeavors if they hit their target or pocket their ball. Shooting is a central activity in our entertainment media, so a dream about shooting may just be something from a movie we have seen. Alternatively, shooting is an obvious symbol for anger, aggression, and even aggressive male sexuality. Dreams can also be alluding to the meaning of familiar idioms, such as “shoot your mouth off,” “shoot yourself in the foot,” “shoot someone down,” “shoot the messenger,” etc.


The aerial portion of a plant, including stem, branches, and leaves.
A new, immature growth on a plant.
To detonate an explosive, used to break coal loose from a seam or in blasting operation or in a borehole.
The energy that goes up through the strata from a seismic profiling shot and is reflected downward at the surface or at the base of the weathering; appears either as a single wave or unites with a wave train that is traveling downward. Also known as secondary reflection.
A place where a stream flows or descends swiftly.
A natural or artificial channel, passage, or trough through which water is moved to a lower level.
A rush of water down a steep place or a rapids.
To project a missile with force; to fire a weapon, as a gun or cannon; to strike or hit something with a missile.


To straighten the edge of a board with a plane, 1.
References in classic literature ?
Under favour, sir,'' replied the yeoman, ``I have another reason for refraining to shoot, besides the fearing discomfiture and disgrace.
And it seems that you asked him not to shoot the hare.
If your young arm could speed a shaft for half that distance, I'd shoot with you.
There’s plenty of pheasants among the swamps; and the snow-birds are flying round your own door, where you may feed them with crumbs, and shoot them at pleasure, any day; but if you’re for a buck, or a little bear's meat, Judge, you’ll have to take the long rifle, with a greased wadding, or you’ll waste more powder than you’ll fill stomachs, I’m thinking.
I want you to come along with me for a minute and shoot at something else.
The third brother met a huntsman, who took him with him, and taught him so well all that belonged to hunting, that he became very clever in the craft of the woods; and when he left his master he gave him a bow, and said, 'Whatever you shoot at with this bow you will be sure to hit.
Up jumped Good, burning for slaughter, and thinking, perhaps, that it was as easy to kill elephant as he had found it to shoot giraffe, but I caught him by the arm and pulled him down.
When Robin was a youth of eighteen, stout of sinew and bold of heart, the Sheriff of Nottingham proclaimed a shooting match and offered a prize of a butt of ale to whosoever should shoot the best shaft in Nottinghamshire.
They understood that the saddles and Junot's spoon might be of some use, but that cold and hungry soldiers should have to stand and guard equally cold and hungry Russians who froze and lagged behind on the road (in which case the order was to shoot them) was not merely incomprehensible but revolting.
There was only one thing that chap could do, and that was shoot.
it is very well when you do but shoot at a shield, but when there is a man behind the shield, and he rides at you with wave of sword and glint of eyes from behind his vizor, you may find him a less easy mark.
He resolved to shoot her, and there the vision terminated.