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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or constituting the basic, essential, or fundamental part: an elementary need for love and nurturing.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or involving the fundamental or simplest aspects of a subject: an elementary problem in statistics.
  • adj. Of or relating to an elementary school or elementary education: the elementary grades; elementary teachers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Relating to the basic, essential or fundamental part of something.
  • adj. Relating to an elementary school.
  • adj. Relating to a subatomic particle.
  • adj. Sublunary; not celestial; belonging to the sublunary sphere, to which the four classical elements (earth, air, fire and water) were confined; composed of or pertaining to these four elements.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having only one principle or constituent part; consisting of a single element; simple; uncompounded.
  • adj. Pertaining to, or treating of, the elements, rudiments, or first principles of anything; initial; rudimental; introductory.
  • adj. Pertaining to one of the four elements, air, water, earth, fire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or of the nature of an element or elements; primary; simple; uncompounded; incomplex: as, an elementary substance.
  • Initial; rudimental; containing, teaching, or discussing first principles, rules, or rudiments: as, an elementary treatise or disquisition; elementary education; elementary schools.
  • Treating of elements; collecting, digesting, or explaining principles: as, an elementary writer.
  • Of the nature of an infinitesimal element or part.

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

  • adj. of or being the essential or basic part
  • adj. easy and not involved or complicated
  • adj. of or pertaining to or characteristic of elementary school or elementary education


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The phrase is not stronger than that with which the “Grammar of Science” challenged the fight: —“Anything more hopelessly illogical than the statements with regard to Force and Matter current in elementary textbooks of science, it is difficult to imagine, ” opened Mr. Pearson, and the responsible author of the “elementary textbook, ” as he went on to explain, was Lord Kelvin himself.

    The Grammar of Science (1903)

  • Strictly speaking, the term elementary as applied to most of the particles in the nucleus is inaccurate, for scientists now believe that all the particles except electrons are made of still more elementary particles called quarks.

    elementary particles

  • The hackers, who call themselves LulzSec, said they pulled off what they described as an elementary attack to highlight Sony's "disgraceful" security. - Home Page

  • Specifically, there aren't enough students in elementary and high school with an interest in STEM and there aren't enough university graduates in STEM to fill current and future open positions.


  • As well, we need more Catholics who believe along the lines of Fr. Schall in elementary and high school administration.

    Straight talk from Fr. Schall about...

  • In rural Mali, many people speak and learn to write only Bambara in elementary school.

    Global Voices in English » Translator of the week: Boukary Konaté in Mali

  • However, while in elementary and middle schools there is absolutely no need.

    Global Voices in English » Japan: Law Banning Cell Phones for Kids Passed in Ishikawa

  • The “Ishikawa Children Comprehensive Act” [ja, pdf] Article 33 reads “Guardians must try not to let their students who are in elementary, middle, and specially supported schools have cell phones except in case of disaster prevention, crime prevention and any other special purposes.”

    Global Voices in English » Japan: Law Banning Cell Phones for Kids Passed in Ishikawa

  • One is in elementary school and one is in middle school.

    duh pookie

  • I mentioned this before, but I recently realized that my attraction to zombie movies is I used to have recurring dreams, when I was in elementary school, where the entire world had either become zombies or vampires - my parents, my neighbors, every single person I ran across - and I was the only person left.

    you can't live on movies alone, she says


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