Definition of elemental in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɛlɪˈmɛnt(ə)l/


1Forming an essential or typical feature; fundamental: failure is always apparent at this elemental level
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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.
1.2Denoting uncombined chemical elements: elemental sulphur
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  • 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
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  • 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.
2.1(Of an emotion) powerful and primitive: a magical, elemental desire
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  • 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: gods and elementals looked out upon the worshippers
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  • 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.



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

Line breaks: elem|en¦tal

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