adjective (simpler, simplest)
- 1Easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty: a simple solution camcorders are now so simple to operateMore example sentences
straightforward, easy, uncomplicated, uninvolved, effortless, painless, manageable, undemanding, unexacting, elementary, child's play, plain sailing, a five-finger exercise, nothing• informal as easy as falling off a log, as easy as pie, as easy as ABC, a piece of cake, a cinch, a snip, easy-peasy, no sweat, a doddle, a pushover, money for old rope, money for jam, kids' stuff, a breeze, a doss, a cakewalkNorth American • informal duck soup, a snapAustralian/New Zealand • informal a bludge, a snackSouth African • informal a piece of old tackleBritish • vulgar slang a piece of pissclear, plain, straightforward, clearly expressed, intelligible, comprehensible, uncomplicated, understandable, (words) of one syllable, lucid, coherent, unambiguous, direct, accessible, uninvolved• informal user-friendly
- The notes are simple and are easily understandable even to a common man.
- The first five steps are really very simple and can easily avert a potential disaster.
- The order should be expressed in simple terms, easily understood even by those who, like the appellant, are not very bright.
- 1.1 [attributive] Used to emphasize the fundamental and straightforward nature of something: the simple truthMore example sentences
- All the fundamental paradoxes are true for one simple reason: they are truths.
- I should not have had to cross the world to discover something as simple and fundamental as this.
- This looks to me more like a boom driven by very simple fundamentals.
- 2Plain, basic, or uncomplicated in form, nature, or design; without much decoration or ornamentation: a simple white blouse the house is furnished in a simple country styleMore example sentences
plain, unadorned, undecorated, unembellished, unornamented, without ornament/ornamentation, unelaborate, unpretentious, unostentatious, unfussy, no-nonsense, basic, modest, unsophisticated, penny plain, without frills, honest, homely, homespun, everyday, workaday; stark, severe, spartan, austere, chaste, spare, bare; muted, unpatterned, patternless; classic, understated, uncluttered, clean, restrained; North American homestyle• informal no-frills
- All furniture forms were plain in design with simple or no surface decoration.
- The entire layout is extremely basic and simple, designed to allow gamers to get in and out quickly.
- The other features a modern look with simple designs in black white and silver.
- 2.1Humble and unpretentious: a quiet unassuming man with simple tastesMore example sentences
- They lived a similar humble and simple life, before both being assassinated by the British Royal Family.
- He was a quiet unassuming man with simple tastes and was dedicated to his greyhounds and track.
- These leaders, unlike Jesus, who was humble and simple, are the affluent lot.
- 3Composed of a single element; not compound.More example sentences
- That way you can upgrade your patient's break from a simple to a compound fracture and claim more money from the insurance company.
- A lively dance; the music from Shakespeare's time is often in simple rather than compound metre.
- 3.1 Mathematics Denoting a group that has no proper normal subgroup.More example sentences
- In it he determined the minimal simple finite groups, this is to say, the simple groups whose proper subgroups are solvable.
- Galois then shows that the non-abelian simple group of smallest order has order 60.
- He searched for finite simple groups and in an 1892 paper he showed that all simple groups up to order 200 are already known.
- 3.2 Botany (Of a leaf or stem) not divided or branched.More example sentences
- This axis comprised successive nodes, each having a simple leaf, separated by internodes of variable length.
- 3.3(Of a lens, microscope, etc.) consisting of a single lens or component.More example sentences
- Painters like Vermeer traced images from convex mirrors and simple lenses - thus the hand in the camera.
- The biaxial scanning mechanism and the simple objective lenses are the key features.
- Petzval produced an achromatic portrait lens that was vastly superior to the simple meniscus lens then in use.
- 3.4(In English grammar) denoting a tense formed without an auxiliary, for example sang as opposed to was singing.More example sentences
- Traditionally, the simple future tense is will or shall followed by the infinitive: will follow.
- 3.5(Of interest) payable on the sum loaned only. Compare with compound1.More example sentences
- The interest rolls up in the units you buy, so you actually get capital gain on your units rather than simple interest.
- Bankers charged simple interest, with interest capitalised at intervals.
- They gave her simple interest on it and they absolved her of her liability for the occupation rent.
- 4Of very low intelligence.More example sentences
- Marx always emphasised that we can learn more from intelligent conservatives than from simple liberals.
nounchiefly • historical Back to top
- A medicinal herb, or a medicine made from one: the gatherers of simplesMore example sentences
- The woodlands were a reservoir of fuel; they were a larder of delicacies; a medicine chest of simples and cures.
- The poetic and medical arts - not disease - flourish in gardens: their cool shade and sacred laurel trees give shelter to Apollo's inspirational Muses, and their plants furnish powerful pharmaceutical simples to combat disease.
- Tia Aria showed me the garden where herbs medicinal and herbs amatory went into the making of her famous simples.
- More example sentences
- The folksiness, the simpleness, simply repels them.
- The cultural preference of simpleness that has been with us throughout our long history is very solid and lies deep inside us.
- ‘We were born simply into life; the simpleness of life is the most cherished,’ she continues.
Middle English: from Old French, from Latin simplus. The noun sense (mid 16th century) originally referred to a medicine made from one constituent, especially from one plant.