Definition of elemental in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌeləˈmen(t)l/


1Primary or basic: elemental features from which all other structures are compounded
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  • At its elemental level, in the construction industry the temp agencies have essentially created alternative ‘non - union’ hiring halls.
  • While her works have consistently pointed to a delightful connection between ourselves and our things, here she seemed to explore that connection down to an elemental level.
  • He did not conflate signs with reality at an elemental level, and his alphabet does not connect to reality so much as provide an analogy for real-world relations.
1.1Concerned with chemical elements or other basic components: elemental analysis
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  • Both men helped to systematize chemistry, to define the law of definite proportions and the underlying atomic and elemental principles.
  • Qualitative elemental analysis methods comprise both instrumental and chemical or ‘wet’ techniques.
  • Newer techniques such as inductively coupled plasma spectrometry have taken over many aspects of elemental analysis.
1.2Consisting of a single chemical element.
Example sentences
  • Other elements occur naturally in a pure or elemental form, like sulphur or gold.
  • The most hydrophobic and fungitoxic compound unexpectedly proved to be elemental sulphur.
  • Declining American reserves of elemental sulphur could open up export possibilities.
2Related to or embodying the powers of nature: a thunderstorm is the inevitable outcome of battling elemental forces
More example sentences
  • With the elemental forces of nature battering away at them, Molesey and Dulwich Hamlet put on a show of football that was at times breathtaking given the rain and wind that lashed Molesey Park Stadium.
  • He said he believed that un-vegetated peat and mineral soil, especially at such an exposed location, was subject to elemental erosion.
natural, atmospheric, meteorological, environmental, climatic
2.1(Of an emotion) having the primitive and inescapable character of a force of nature: the urge for revenge was too elemental to be ignored
More example sentences
  • There were no tears in her eyes, but the oceans of pure blue held every ounce of her sadness like a bucket of ice melting and overflowing with a powerful sweep of elemental passion.
  • From the mid-1880s he began to use violent colour and linear distortions to express the most elemental emotions of fear, love, and hatred.
  • After a few readings, you can understand that her reality has a deep human presence, elemental sorrow, and ecstasy.


A supernatural entity or force thought to be physically manifested by occult means.
Example sentences
  • With demons and elementals, one uses a thaumaturgic circle to call them into and bind them.
  • Some mages in one of the other planes have learned how to trap them and force the elementals to do their bidding.
  • When dealing with energy or elementals, I tend to see them as dragons.



Pronunciation: /-ˌizəm/
Example sentences
  • Signer's less-is-more elementalism does not always result in this kind of meditative sublime, however; on the contrary, it can also be frantic, obsessive, manically repetitive and psychologically conflicted.
  • ‘It's one of the basics of elementalism,’ Elisa said, glad that she'd averted a possible disaster.
  • Their specific elementalism is felt in Hackett's preference and deep feeling for blue and white as her principal color divisions.


Example sentences
  • The film is an elementally emotional work, flooded everywhere by a deep, regretful sort of fatalism.
  • Even more paradoxical is the acceptance that this revolutionary impulse has emanated from an elementally American art form.
  • Aside from the heavy battle axe, all of Samanosuke's weapons are elementally charged swords.


Late 15th century: from medieval Latin elementalis, from elementum 'principle, rudiment' (see element).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: el·e·men·tal

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