from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or being an element.
  • adj. Fundamental or essential; basic.
  • adj. Of or relating to fundamentals; elementary.
  • adj. Constituting an integral part; inborn.
  • adj. Of such character as to resemble a force of nature in power or effect: elemental violence.
  • n. In certain occult systems, an inhabitant of one of the four elements, especially any of the beings described by Paracelsus as intermediate in corporeality between humans and spirits.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of, relating to, or being an element (as opposed to a compound)
  • adj. basic, fundamental or elementary
  • adj. of the ancient supposed elements of earth, air, fire and water
  • adj. of, or relating to a force or nature, especially to severe atmospheric conditions
  • n. A creature (usually a spirit) that is attuned with, or composed of, one of the classical elements: air, earth, fire and water. They sometimes have unique proper names and sometimes are referred to as Air, Earth, Fire, or Water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to the elements, first principles, and primary ingredients, or to the four supposed elements of the material world.
  • adj. Pertaining to rudiments or first principles; rudimentary; elementary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of an element or elements.
  • Pertaining or relating to first principles; simple; elementary.
  • Of or pertaining to the elements of the material world: more especially used of the mobile elements, fire, air, and water, with reference to their violent or destructive action. See element, 2 and 3.
  • n. A spirit of the elements; a nature-spirit. See I., 3, and element, 2 and 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to or being an element
  • adj. of or being the essential or basic part
  • adj. relating to severe atmospheric conditions


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But Alan Iverson is basketball in elemental form, a guy of tiny stature who just has more game than you can imagine.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Chemistry Experiment

  • The most harmful, pure form of chlorine, what is called elemental chlorine, is no longer used to bleach paper in the U.S. Recycled paper is sometimes slightly rougher than paper made of virgin fibers from trees because it is made of shorter fibers or comes from different sources, not because of the bleaching process.

    Trying On Shades of Brown to Scream Green

  • Some would argue that's the reason we lack a certain elemental charisma.

    Maimonides who? Why Americans fail basic religion tests

  • The warning dose for milk-alkali syndrome is expressed in elemental calcium.

    Milk-Alkali Syndrome

  • For the purposes of our present consideration of the non-human inhabitants of the astral plane it will be best to leave out of consideration those very early forms of the universal life which are evolving, in a manner of which we can have little comprehension, through the successive encasement of atoms, molecules and cells: for if we commence at the lowest of what are usually called the elemental kingdoms, we shall even then have to group together under this general heading an enormous number of inhabitants of the astral plane upon whom it will be possible to touch only very slightly, as anything like

    The Astral Plane Its Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena

  • _littérateur, _ but such as you would imagine the antique heroes to make, -- that of a sweet-blooded, receptive, perfectly normal, catholic man, with, further than that, a look about him that is best suggested by the word elemental or cosmical.

    Birds and Poets : with Other Papers

  • These forms can be organized under three headings: metallic mercury (also known as elemental mercury), inorganic mercury, and organic mercury.


  • Progressives defend the notion of elemental human rights, the idea of a strong social safety net – food, housing, medical care, and education.

    Printing: What Do Liberals Believe?

  • V The gleaming galleon, sails and sides all gilded so that it seemed the sun itself pursued them, moved rapidly upon them while the girl and Count Smiorgan watched aghast and Elric desperately attempted to recall his elemental allies, without success.

    The Sailor On The Seas of Fate

  • We have considered what may be called the elemental parts of a complete telephone; that is, the receiver, transmitter, hook switch, battery, generator, call bell, condenser, and the various kinds of coils which go to make up the apparatus by which one is enabled to transmit and receive speech and signals.

    Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1 A General Reference Work on Telephony, etc. etc.


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  • An elemental is a mythological being first appearing in the alchemical works of Paracelsus. Traditionally, there are four types: gnomes, earth elementals; undines, water elementals; sylphs, air elementals; and salamanders, fire elementals.


    January 29, 2008