Meaning of ELEMENT in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ ˈe-lə-mənt ]


Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin elementum

Date: 13th century


a. : any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe

b. plural : weather conditions ; especially : violent or severe weather

battling the element s

c. : the state or sphere natural or suited to a person or thing

at school she was in her element

2. : a constituent part: as

a. plural : the simplest principles of a subject of study : rudiments


(1) : a part of a geometric magnitude

an infinitesimal element of volume

(2) : a generator of a geometric figure ; also : a line or line segment contained in the surface of a cone or cylinder

(3) : a basic member of a mathematical or logical class or set

(4) : one of the individual entries in a mathematical matrix or determinant

c. : a distinct group within a larger group or community

the criminal element in the city


(1) : one of the necessary data or values on which calculations or conclusions are based

(2) : one of the factors determining the outcome of a process

e. : any of the fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter

f. : a distinct part of a composite device

g. : a subdivision of a military unit

3. plural : the bread and wine used in the Eucharist


element , component , constituent , ingredient mean one of the parts of a compound or complex whole. element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity

the basic elements of geometry

component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character

the components of a stereo system

constituent stresses its essential and formative character

the constituents of a chemical compound

ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture

the ingredients of a cocktail

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.