Meaning of SIMPLE in English


I. ˈsim-pəl adjective

( sim·pler -p(ə-)lər ; sim·plest -p(ə-)ləst)

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin simplus, alteration of Latin simplic-, simplex single, having one ingredient, plain, from sem-, sim- one + -plic-, -plex -fold — more at same , -fold

Date: 13th century

1. : free from guile : innocent


a. : free from vanity : modest

b. : free from ostentation or display

a simple outfit

3. : of humble origin or modest position

a simple farmer


a. : lacking in knowledge or expertise

a simple amateur of the arts


(1) : stupid

(2) : mentally retarded

c. : not socially or culturally sophisticated : naive ; also : credulous


a. : sheer , unmixed

simple honesty

b. : free of secondary complications

a simple vitamin deficiency


(1) : having only one main clause and no subordinate clauses

a simple 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 simple eye

6. : free from elaboration or figuration

simple harmony



(1) : not subdivided into branches or leaflets

a simple stem

a simple leaf

(2) : consisting of a single carpel

(3) : developing from a single ovary

a simple fruit

b. : controlled by a single gene

simple inherited characters

8. : not limited or restricted : unconditional

a simple obligation

9. : readily understood or performed

simple directions

the adjustment was simple to make

10. of a statistical hypothesis : specifying exact values for one or more statistical parameters — compare composite 3

• sim·ple·ness -pəl-nəs noun


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 especially 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

Synonym: see in addition easy .

II. noun

Date: 14th century


a. : a person of humble birth : commoner

thought very little of anybody, simple s or gentry — Virginia Woolf


(1) : a rude or credulous person : ignoramus

(2) : a mentally retarded person


a. : a medicinal plant

b. : a vegetable drug having only one ingredient

3. : one component of a complex ; specifically : an unanalyzable constituent

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