Meaning of ELEMENT in English

ELEMENT

el ‧ e ‧ ment S2 W1 AC /ˈeləmənt, ˈelɪmənt/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin elementum ]

1 . PART one part or feature of a whole system, plan, piece of work etc, especially one that is basic or important

element of

Honesty is a vital element of her success.

element in

the primary element in the country’s economy

important/key/essential/vital etc element

Besides ability, the other essential element in political success is luck.

Business and management elements are built into the course.

2 . element of surprise/truth/risk/doubt etc an amount, usually small, of a quality or feeling:

There is an element of truth in your argument.

3 . CHEMISTRY a simple chemical substance such as ↑ carbon or oxygen that consists of atoms of only one kind ⇨ ↑ compound 1 (1)

4 . PEOPLE a group of people who form part of a larger group, especially when the rest of the group does not approve of them ⇨ faction :

the hard-line communist elements in the party

5 . the elements [plural] the weather, especially bad weather:

sailors battling against the elements

6 . HEATING the part of a piece of electrical equipment that produces heat

7 . the elements of something the most simple things that you have to learn first about a subject:

She doesn’t even know the basic elements of politeness.

8 . EARTH/AIR/FIRE/WATER one of the four substances (earth, air, fire, and water) from which people used to believe that everything was made

9 . be in your element to be in a situation that you enjoy, because you are good at it:

Graham was in his element, building a fire and cooking the steaks.

10 . be out of your element to be in a situation that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy:

She was out of her element in this dull little town.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS

■ adjectives

▪ an important element

This one fact is the most important element of the theory.

▪ a major element (=very important)

Private study is a major element of the students’ timetable.

▪ a key element (=very important and necessary)

Trust is a key element in any relationship.

▪ a crucial/critical element (=extremely important and necessary)

The most crucial element of our economic system is the law of supply and demand.

▪ a vital/essential element (=necessary so that something can happen or exist)

Her determination is a vital element of her success.

▪ the main element (=most important)

The reform programme has three main elements.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.