— simpleness , n.
/sim"peuhl/ , adj., simpler, simplest , n.
1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.
2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
5. not complicated: a simple design.
6. not complex or compound; single.
7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.
8. free of deceit or guile; sincere; unconditional: a frank, simple answer.
9. common or ordinary: a simple soldier.
10. not grand or sophisticated; unpretentious: a simple way of life.
11. humble or lowly: simple folk.
12. inconsequential or rudimentary.
13. unlearned; ignorant.
14. lacking mental acuteness or sense: a simple way of thinking.
15. unsophisticated; naive; credulous.
a. composed of only one substance or element: a simple substance.
b. not mixed.
18. Bot. not divided into parts: a simple leaf; a simple stem.
19. Zool. not compound: a simple ascidian.
20. Music. uncompounded or without overtones; single: simple tone.
21. Gram. having only the head without modifying elements included: The simple subject of "The dappled pony gazed over the fence" is "pony." Cf. complete (def. 5).
22. (of a verb tense) consisting of a main verb with no auxiliaries, as takes (simple present) or stood (simple past) (opposed to compound ).
23. Math. linear (def. 7).
24. Optics. (of a lens) having two optical surfaces only.
25. an ignorant, foolish, or gullible person.
26. something simple, unmixed, or uncompounded.
27. simples , Textiles. cords for controlling the warp threads in forming the shed on draw-looms.
28. a person of humble origins; commoner.
29. an herb or other plant used for medicinal purposes: country simples.
[ 1175-1225; (adj.) ME simplus simple, L (in simpla pecunia simple fee or sum), equiv. to sim- one (see SIMPLEX) + -plus, as in duplus DUPLE, DOUBLE (see -FOLD); c. Gk háplos (see HAPLO-); (n.) ME: commoner, deriv. of the adj. ]
Syn. 1. clear, intelligible, understandable, unmistakable, lucid. 2. natural, unembellished, neat. 8. artless, guileless, ingenuous. 10. See homely. 12. trifling, trivial, nonessential, unnecessary. 13. untutored, stupid.