Definition of rudiment in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈro͞odəmənt/


1 (the rudiments of) The first principles of a subject: she taught the girls the rudiments of reading and writing
More example sentences
  • It neglects the fact that although the rudiments of a task can be picked up quite soon, skills take time to develop, and the process is inhibited by too many job changes, compulsory task rotations, or rapid staff turnover.
  • Teaching pupils the rudiments of double-blind tests, clinical trial methods and general principles of factoring studies for other influences would clear these scientific confusions.
  • They might just about have grasped the rudiments of e-mail, but they haven't a clue about the new media.
1.1An elementary or primitive form of something: the rudiments of a hot-water system
More example sentences
  • Singers and storytellers, the entertainers of those times, included dance in their performances, and created the rudiments of modern theatre, where dialogue takes precedence.
  • Using the indigenously available material, they have put together the rudiments of a ‘glider aircraft’, similar in function and style to the imported gliders used only by defence pilots in India.
  • The inorganic sediments were covered with poorly decomposed fibric peat accumulations that contained well-preserved rudiments of earlier communities.
2 Biology An undeveloped or immature part or organ, especially a structure in an embryo or larva that will develop into an organ, limb, etc. the fetal lung rudiment
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  • It has rudiments of the limb girdles, but no fins.
  • All fetuses from whom the testis rudiment had been removed developed as though they were female, as also did those from whom the developing ovary was removed.
  • A small posterior element in this limb may be a rudiment of the fifth metacarpal.
3 Music A basic pattern used by drummers, such as the roll, the flam, and the paradiddle.
Example sentences
  • He flows like a slap bassist, performing exhausting rudiments in too-tight spaces with little grace and even less rhythm.
  • I was learning the rudiments - the drum rolls, the double bounces, the single bounces.
  • Instruction in piano, voice, organ, string, brass, wind and percussion are available for beginners and masters, as well as classes in rudiments, composition and other theoretical subjects.


Mid 16th century: from French, or from Latin rudimentum, from rudis 'unwrought', on the pattern of elementum 'element'.

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