[sim.ple] adj sim.pler ; sim.plest [ME, fr. OF, plain, uncomplicated, artless, fr. L simplus, simplex, lit., single; L simplus fr. sem-, sim- one + -plus multiplied by; L simplic-, simplex fr. sem-, sim- + -plic-, -plex -fold--more at same, -fold] (13c) 1: free from guile: innocent
2. a: free from vanity: modest b: free from ostentation or display
3: of humble origin or modest position "a ~ farmer"
4. a: lacking in knowledge or expertise "a ~ amateur of the arts" b: stupid; esp: mentally retarded c: not socially or culturally sophisticated: naive; also: credulous
5. a: sheer, unmixed "~ honesty" b: free of secondary complications "a ~ vitamin deficiency" c (1): having only one main clause and no subordinate clauses "a ~ sentence" (2) of a subject or predicate: having no modifiers, complements, or objects d: constituting a basic element: fundamental e: not made up of many like units "a ~ eye"
6: free from elaboration or figuration "~ harmony"
7. a (1): not subdivided into branches or leaflets "a ~ stem" "a ~ leaf" (2): consisting of a single carpel (3): developing from a single ovary "a ~ fruit" b: controlled by a single gene "~ inherited characters" 8: not limited or restricted: unconditional "a ~ obligation" 9: readily understood or performed "~ directions" "the adjustment was ~ to make"
10. of a statistical hypothesis: specifying exact values for one or more statistical parameters--compare composite 3 -- sim.ple.ness n syn simple, foolish, silly, fatuous, asinine mean actually or apparently deficient in intelligence. simple implies a degree of intelligence inadequate to cope with anything complex or involving mental effort "considered people simple who had trouble with computers". foolish implies the character of being or seeming unable to use judgment, discretion, or good sense "foolish stunts". silly suggests failure to act as a rational being esp. by ridiculous behavior "the silly antics of revelers". fatuous implies foolishness, inanity, and disregard of reality "fatuous conspiracy theories". asinine suggests utter and contemptible failure to use normal rationality or perception "an asinine plot". syn see in addition easy
simple n (14c) 1 a: a person of humble birth: commoner "thought very little of anybody, ~s or gentry --Virginia Woolf" b (1): a rude or credulous person: ignoramus (2): a mentally retarded person
2. a: a medicinal plant b: a vegetable drug having only one ingredient
3: one component of a complex; specif: an unanalyzable constituent