Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

elemental

[el-uh-men-tl] /ˌɛl əˈmɛn tl/
adjective
1.
of the nature of an ultimate constituent; simple; uncompounded.
2.
pertaining to rudiments or first principles.
3.
starkly simple, primitive, or basic:
a spare, elemental prose style; hate, lust, and other elemental emotions.
4.
pertaining to the agencies, forces, or phenomena of physical nature:
elemental gods.
5.
comparable to the great forces of nature, as in power or magnitude:
elemental grandeur.
6.
of, relating to, or of the nature of the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire, or of any one of them.
7.
pertaining to chemical elements.
Origin of elemental
1485-1495
From the Medieval Latin word elementālis, dating back to 1485-95. See element, -al1
Related forms
elementally, adverb
nonelemental, adjective
nonelementally, adverb
postelemental, adjective
preelemental, adjective
subelemental, adjective
subelementally, adverb
transelemental, adjective
unelemental, adjective
unelementally, adverb
Can be confused
elemental, elementary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for elemental
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Good Indian laughed at her, a laugh of pure, elemental joy in life and in love.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • But along the edge of the oven were graven the signs of the eight elemental forces.

  • The majesty of Fact is on their side, and the elemental forces of Nature are working for them.

    The Origin of Species Thomas H. Huxley
  • But the simple measure of nationality is severely natural and elemental.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • And with this certainty surely we have all that is necessary for an elemental religion.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
British Dictionary definitions for elemental

elemental

/ˌɛlɪˈmɛntəl/
adjective
1.
fundamental; basic; primal: the elemental needs of man
2.
motivated by or symbolic of primitive and powerful natural forces or passions: elemental rites of worship
3.
of or relating to earth, air, water, and fire considered as elements
4.
of or relating to atmospheric forces, esp wind, rain, and cold
5.
of, relating to, or denoting a chemical element
noun
6.
(rare) a spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form
Derived Forms
elementally, adverb
elementalism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for elemental
adj.

late 15c., "pertaining to the four elements," from Medieval Latin elementalis, from Latin elementum (see element). Meaning "simple, uncomplicated" is from 1550s; that of "relating to first principles" is from 1570s. The noun in the occult sense is from 1877.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for elemental

Word Value for elemental

11
15
Scrabble Words With Friends