- pertaining to or dealing with elements, rudiments, or first principles: an elementary grammar.
- of or relating to an elementary school: elementary teachers.
- of the nature of an ultimate constituent; simple or uncompounded.
- pertaining to the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire, or to the great forces of nature; elemental.
- Chemistry. of or noting one or more elements.
Origin of elementary
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for elementary
Although Huckabee's condescending tone - like that of an elementary school history teacher - makes it difficult to take seriously.Huckabee 2016: Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner!
January 8, 2015
Supporters pointed to math and literacy gains, while critics noted that those improvements disappeared in elementary school.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?
Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle
December 23, 2014
A small-town Ohio elementary school teacher just racked up 25 charges on an otherwise clean record for allegedly raping her son.Ohio Elementary School Teacher Charged With Raping Her Son
November 11, 2014
Determined, she dropped out and taught herself everything from the elementary school level through high school.How ‘Titanic ’Helped This Brave Young Woman Escape North Korea’s Totalitarian State
October 31, 2014
A genuinely transgressive art moment reeked of elementary school art project.Sex-Crazed Narcissist Pretends He's an Artist
August 20, 2014
The Germanic invasions of France are matters of elementary history.Mountain Meditations
He had received an elementary education; could read, write, and cipher.The Downfall
Margaret flushed at advice so elementary, but he was really paving the way for a lie.Howards End
E. M. Forster
Yet without some reconciliation of these elementary ideas thought was impossible.Sophist
In a few places, elementary or introductory courses are open to freshmen.College Teaching
- not difficult; simple; rudimentary
- of or concerned with the first principles of a subject; introductory or fundamental
- maths (of a function) having the form of an algebraic, exponential, trigonometric, or a logarithmic function, or any combination of these
- chem another word for elemental (def. 5)
Word Origin and History for elementary
late 14c., "having the nature of one of the four elements," from Middle French elementaire and directly from Latin elementarius, from elementum (see element). Meaning "rudimentary" is from 1540s; meaning "simple" is from 1620s. Elementary school is 1841.