A stemmer is a computer program or algorithm in natural language processing that, given an inflected form of a word returns its root. For example,

        dogs    dog
        flies   fly
        geese   goose 
        axes    ax or axis

Stemming in English is relatively easy because the rules are fairly simple and regular (exceptions like axes nothwithstanding). Russian and Hebrew are two of the more difficult languages to design stemmers for.

Stem"mer (?), n.

One who, or that which, stems (in any of the senses of the verbs).

 

© Webster 1913.

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