Share this entry

Share this page

elementary

Syllabification: el·e·men·ta·ry
Pronunciation: /ˌeləˈment(ə)rē
 
/

Definition of elementary in English:

adjective

1Of or relating to the most rudimentary aspects of a subject: the six stages take students from elementary to advanced level
More example sentences
  • Courses start at £75 for a Fun Day during the week, going up to £299 for a four-day elementary pilot course at the weekend.
  • Euclid also wrote Phaenomena which is an elementary introduction to mathematical astronomy and gives results on the times stars in certain positions will rise and set.
  • Heinrich attended school in Mulhouse, receiving a reasonably good education up to the age of twelve, studying French and Latin in addition to elementary subjects.
Synonyms
basic, rudimentary, fundamental;
informal 101
1.1Easily dealt with; straightforward and uncomplicated: it’s interesting work, although a lot of it is elementary
More example sentences
  • The elementary exercise of checking the stability of changes in annual deaths and discrepancies between places studied will sometimes be highly prudent.
  • For one, Economics in One Lesson can be read by anyone who can perform elementary logical exercises in his mind.
  • The French believed that the complex of traditional custom governing the social order could be replaced by simple, elementary rules deriving from the exercise of human reason and natural law.
Synonyms
informal as easy as pie, as easy as ABC, a piece of cake, no sweat, kids' stuff
1.2Not decomposable into elements or other primary constituents.
Example sentences
  • Another theoretical advantage of RFA is that it denatures viral proteins without a plume and its by products are elementary molecules and low molecular weight inert gases.
  • It is hardly fanciful to say that, at the beginning of the century, scientific understanding was equated with reducing structures, including that of the mind, to their elementary constituents.
  • Its perceptual configurations have been thought to have a special relevance to the emergence of formal artistic qualities which cannot be reduced to a measurable aggregate of more elementary constituents.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'composed of the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water'): from Latin elementarius, from elementum 'principle, rudiment' (see element). Current senses dates from the mid 16th century.

Derivatives

elementarily

1
adverb

elementariness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Complex heterogeneity is not suppressed by any refinement of focus, nor are simplicity, autonomy, elementariness, ever approached.

Definition of elementary in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈemyələs
adjective
seeking to emulate or imitate someone or something