American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or relating to basic facts or principles; elementary.
- adj. Being in the earliest stages of development; incipient.
- adj. Biology Imperfectly or incompletely developed; embryonic: a rudimentary beak.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to rudiments or first principles; consisting in or dealing with first principles; elementary; initial: as, rudimentary teachings; rudimentary laws.
- Of the nature of a rudiment; elementary; undeveloped.
- Specifically, in biology: Pertaining to or of the nature of a rudiment; rudimental; beginning to be formed; elementary; embryonic.
- Vestigial; abortive; aborted or arrested in development; having no functional activity.
- Synonyms Rudimentary. Vestigial, Abortive. These three words, in their biological application, are commonly used interchangeably, and may mean exactly the same thing. But there is a clear and proper distinction in most cases, since that which is rudimentary in one organism may be fully developed in another organism, and that which is rudimentary in a given organism may or may not proceed to develop in that organism. So that which is developed in one organism but remains rudimentary in another is vestigial for the latter—that is. it affords a mere trace or hint of the former; and that which might have developed but did not develop in the same organism is abortive. Thus, all embryonic parts and organs are properly rudimentary; all functionless organs are vestigial which in another case have become functional; those which are normally functional but fail to become so in a given case are abortive. Rudimentary is the most general and comprehensive term for that which is rude, raw, crude, unformed, in an absolute sense; vestigial is a relative term, implying comparison with something else, of which that which is vestigial is a mere trace; abortive is likewise a relative term, but one implying arrest or failure of development in the thing itself, without reference to any other thing. Few if any organs can be described with equal accuracy by all three terms, though the distinctions are often ignored. Vestigial is a more technical term than either of the other two, implying a broad view of the thing described, derived from comparative anatomy and physiology, according to the theory of evolution. Abortive is specially applicable to pathological and teratological cases. A harelip or cleft palate is abortive, but neither vestigial nor rudimentary. The thymus of the adult is vestigial, but neither abortive nor rudimentary. The brain-bladders of the embryo are rudimentary, but neither vestigial nor abortive. Most of the functionless and apparently useless organs of adults of the higher animals are most properly to be designated as vestigial.
- adj. of or relating to one or more rudiments
- adj. Basic; minimal; with less than, or only the minimum, necessary.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to rudiments; consisting in first principles; elementary; initial.
- adj. (Biol.) Very imperfectly developed; in an early stage of development; embryonic.
- adj. not fully developed in mature animals
- adj. being in the earliest stages of development
- adj. being or involving basic facts or principles
“Without memory we would have to relearn everything every day and society would remain rudimentary at best.”
“They were introduced in rudimentary fashion in Second Edition and became a full-fledged system in Third Edition.”
“ETA: * as in rudimentary step-by-step instructions as if you were speaking to your 5 year old dog.”
“The ‘Surge’ was a short-term rudimentary change in tactics and nothing more.”
“And still more rudimentary is that a woman (any individual, really) has the right to choose whether intercourse actually happens in the first place.”
“Snake-like robots already exist in rudimentary forms.”
“The knowledge of reading and writing and ciphering, in short, rudimentary training in this colony, has been very thorough.”
Africa and the American Negro...Addresses and Proceedings of the Congress on Africa Held Under the Auspices of the Stewart Missionary Foundation for Africa of Gammon Theological Seminary in Connection with the Cotton States and International Exposition December 13-15, 1895.
“Hand made fonts are generally what I would call a rudimentary sort of exercise, but here you see the time and effort and learning that comes with smashing bits of dead animal into letterforms.”
“Take, again, another set of very remarkable facts, — the existence of what are called rudimentary organs, organs for which we can find no obvious use, in the particular animal economy in which they are found, and yet which are there.”
“Strangely, all this suited my father, who had what might charitably be called rudimentary tastes in food.”
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