Meaning of ELEMENTARY in English


|elə|mentərē, -n.trē, -ri adjective

Etymology: Middle English elementare, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French elementaire, from Latin elementarius, from elementum element + -arius -ary — more at element


a. obsolete : material , physical

b. : elemental 1

these stark elementary powers … this wind, this earth, this sea, this forest — J.C.Powys

2. : of, relating to, or treating of the elements, rudiments, or first principles of any subject or thing : introductory , rudimentary , simple , fundamental , primitive

an elementary text in geology

an elementary precaution of historical research — M.R.Cohen

the play has a very elementary plot

the serf had the elementary security of the land itself — Lewis Mumford

look at those hippopotami — how elementary is their … appearance — Llewelyn Powys

: beginning

a concise aid to elementary students of Irish literature — G.B.Saul

specifically : of or relating to an elementary school

Alaska's public schools had 765 teachers serving 100 elementary departments — Americana Annual

a skilled craftsman has always … been able to earn more than an elementary schoolmaster — Roy Lewis & Angus Maude


a. : elemental 2a(2)

an elementary substance

b. : of, relating to, or being the nuclear family

4. of a hand : coarse and clumsy with the palm large and heavy and with short fingers and short nails usually held by palmists to indicate low or animal characteristics and very little mental capacity or self-control

the elementary hand rarely rises above the most menial occupations — Alice D. Jennings

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.