American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A fundamental element, principle, or skill, as of a field of learning. Often used in the plural.
- n. Something in an incipient or undeveloped form. Often used in the plural: the rudiments of social behavior in children; the rudiments of a plan of action.
- n. Biology An imperfectly or incompletely developed organ or part.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Anything which is in an undeveloped state; the principle which lies at the beginning or bottom of any development; an unformed or unfinished beginning.
- n. An element or first principle of any art or science; especially, in the plural, the beginning, first steps, or introduction to any branch of knowledge; the elements or elementary notions.
- n. In biology: That which is rudimentary; that which is in its first or an early stage of development, which may or may not be continued; the beginning or foundation of any part or organ: as, the rudiment of the embryo which is to go on to maturity; the rudiment of an organ whose further development has been arrested or aborted
- n. That which is vestigial; a vestigial or aborted part, organ, or structure; an abortion; a vestige. Synonyms Fetus, Germ, etc. See
- To furnish with first principles or rules; ground; settle in first principles.
- n. A fundamental principle or skill, especially in a field of learning (often in the plural).
- n. Something in an undeveloped form (often in the plural)
- n. biology A body part that no longer has a function
- n. music In percussion, one of a selection of basic drum patterns learned as an exercise.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. That which is unformed or undeveloped; the principle which lies at the bottom of any development; an unfinished beginning.
- n. Hence, an element or first principle of any art or science; a beginning of any knowledge; a first step.
- n. (Biol.) An imperfect organ or part, or one which is never developed.
- v. To furnish with first principles or rules; to insrtuct in the rudiments.
- n. the remains of a body part that was functional at an earlier stage of life
- n. the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural)
- From Old French, from Latin rudimentum ("a first attempt, a beginning"), plural rudimenta ("the elements"), from rudis ("rude"); see rude. (Wiktionary)
- Latin rudīmentum, from rudis, rough, unformed. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“His is a strain of conceptualist evanescence that is highly material in its rudiment - a matter of celluloid disintegrated into acrylic emulsion.”
“The capacity to ponder works of art and to say something which enlarges our conception of their value, or gives them a fresh relevance, is the rudiment of criticism as an art.”
“The serious writer, his past fogged by reckless existentialist thought, recognised the Nietzschean rudiment and smiled knowingly.”
“We have taught them a rudiment of American democracy.”
“The paradiddle is another important snare drum rudiment that will help one get a handle on the sticks.”
“With respect to the alimentary canal, I have met with an account of only a single rudiment, namely the vermiform appendage of the caecum.”
“In certain plants having separated sexes Kolreuter found that by crossing a species, in which the male flowers included a rudiment of a pistil, with an hermaphrodite species, having of course a well-developed pistil, the rudiment in the hybrid offspring was much increased in size; and this clearly shows that the rudimentary and perfect pistils are essentially alike in nature.”
“That this appendage is a rudiment, we may infer from its small size, and from the evidence which Prof.”
“It appears as if, in consequence of changed diet or habits, the caecum had become much shortened in various animals, the vermiform appendage being left as a rudiment of the shortened part.”
“The grass had brushed most of the mud from its rudiment of a face, and I could see its enormous smile.”
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