- easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.
- not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
- not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
- unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
- not complicated: a simple design.
- not complex or compound; single.
- occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.
- free of deceit or guile; sincere; unconditional: a frank, simple answer.
- common or ordinary: a simple soldier.
- not grand or sophisticated; unpretentious: a simple way of life.
- humble or lowly: simple folk.
- inconsequential or rudimentary.
- unlearned; ignorant.
- lacking mental acuteness or sense: a simple way of thinking.
- unsophisticated; naive; credulous.
- composed of only one substance or element: a simple substance.
- not mixed.
- Botany. not divided into parts: a simple leaf; a simple stem.
- Zoology. not compound: a simple ascidian.
- Music. uncompounded or without overtones; single: simple tone.
- Grammar. having only the head without modifying elements included: The simple subject of “The dappled pony gazed over the fence” is “pony.”Compare complete(def 5).
- (of a verb tense) consisting of a main verb with no auxiliaries, as takes (simple present) or stood (simple past) (opposed to compound).
- Mathematics. linear(def 7).
- Optics. (of a lens) having two optical surfaces only.
- an ignorant, foolish, or gullible person.
- something simple, unmixed, or uncompounded.
- simples, Textiles. cords for controlling the warp threads in forming the shed on draw-looms.
- a person of humble origins; commoner.
- an herb or other plant used for medicinal purposes: country simples.
Origin of simple
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for simple
The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.How the PC Police Threaten Free Speech
January 9, 2015
The reason pilots would choose to use guns over a bomb or a missile is simple.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019
December 31, 2014
Still, I worry that a simple traffic stop could have tragic consequences.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
The premise was simple: satire is devastating against tyrants.The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror
December 19, 2014
A big part of the reason is a simple psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance.Why Didn’t Camille Dump Bill Cosby?
December 17, 2014
After all, it was not a simple thing to put Bill Dozier off the trail.
His program was as simple as the curriculum of a Persian youth.
Until the furies got hold of him he was a simple soul, content with simple things.Viviette
William J. Locke
I see myself a singer of simple songs, a laureate of the under-dog.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
Two against three would be a simple thing, as long as he was one of the two.
- not involved or complicated; easy to understand or doa simple problem
- plain; unadorneda simple dress
- consisting of one element or part only; not combined or complexa simple mechanism
- unaffected or unpretentiousalthough he became famous, he remained a simple and well-liked man
- not guileful; sincere; frankher simple explanation was readily accepted
- of humble condition or rankthe peasant was of simple birth
- weak in intelligence; feeble-minded
- (prenominal) without additions or modifications; merethe witness told the simple truth
- (prenomina) ordinary or straightforwarda simple case of mumps
- chem (of a substance or material) consisting of only one chemical compound rather than a mixture of compounds
- (of a fraction) containing only integers
- (of an equation) containing variables to the first power only; linear
- (of a root of an equation) occurring only once; not multiple
- not divided into partsa simple leaf; a simple eye
- formed from only one ovarysimple fruit
- music relating to or denoting a time where the number of beats per bar may be two, three, or four
- a simpleton; fool
- a plant, esp a herbaceous plant, having medicinal properties
Word Origin and History for simple
c.1200, "free from duplicity, upright, guileless; blameless, innocently harmless," also "ignorant, uneducated; unsophisticated; simple-minded, foolish," from Old French simple (12c.) "plain, decent; friendly, sweet; naive, foolish, stupid," hence "wretched, miserable," from Latin simplus, variant of simplex "simple, uncompounded," literally "onefold" (see simplex). Sense of "free from pride, humble, meek" is mid-13c. As "consisting of only one substance or ingredient" (opposite of composite or compounded) it dates from late 14c.; as "easily done" (opposite of complicated) it dates from late 15c.
From mid-14c. as "unqualified; mere; sheer;" also "clear, straightforward; easily understood." From late 14c. as "single, individual; whole." From late 14c. of clothing, etc., "modest, plain, unadorned," and of food, "plain, not sumptuous." In medicine, of fractures, etc., "lacking complications," late 14c. As a law term, "lacking additional legal stipulations, unlimited," from mid-14c.
In Middle English with wider senses than recently, e.g. "inadequate, insufficient; weak, feeble; mere; few; sad, downcast; mournful; of little value; low in price; impoverished, destitute;" of hair, "straight, not curly." As noun, "an innocent or a guileless person; a humble or modest person" (late 14c.), also "an uncompounded substance." From c.1500 as "ignorant people."
Idioms and Phrases with simple
see pure and simple.