Definition of stemma in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstemə/

noun (plural stemmata)

1A recorded genealogy of a family; a family tree.
1.1A diagram showing the relationship between a text and its various manuscript versions.
Example sentences
  • The next step in approaching the problem of the relation of these texts is to build a non-directional stemma.
  • It would be more reasonable to suggest, therefore, that the copy from which the others were taken, designated ‘z’ on the stemma, was an imported manuscript that was passed around what was nevertheless a small circle of musicians.
  • This is the stemma of the Medici, as established in 1465, with five red roundels - here painted in manganese, since red was not available - and one blue one with three gold fleurs-de-lis.


Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek stemma 'wreath', from stephein 'wreathe, crown'.

Words that rhyme with stemma

contemner, dilemma, Emma, emmer, Jemma, lemma, maremma, tremor

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: stem·ma

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