[ el-uh-men-tl ]
See synonyms for elemental on Thesaurus.com
  1. of the nature of an ultimate constituent; simple; uncompounded.

  2. pertaining to rudiments or first principles.

  1. starkly simple, primitive, or basic: a spare, elemental prose style; hate, lust, and other elemental emotions.

  2. pertaining to the agencies, forces, or phenomena of physical nature: elemental gods.

  3. comparable to the great forces of nature, as in power or magnitude:elemental grandeur.

  4. of, relating to, or of the nature of the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire, or of any one of them.

  5. pertaining to chemical elements.

Origin of elemental

From the Medieval Latin word elementālis, dating back to 1485–95. See element, -al1

Other words from elemental

  • el·e·men·tal·ly, adverb
  • non·el·e·men·tal, adjective
  • non·el·e·men·tal·ly, adverb
  • post·el·e·men·tal, adjective
  • pre·el·e·men·tal, adjective
  • sub·el·e·men·tal, adjective
  • sub·el·e·men·tal·ly, adverb
  • trans·el·e·men·tal, adjective
  • un·el·e·men·tal, adjective
  • un·el·e·men·tal·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with elemental

Words Nearby elemental

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use elemental in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for elemental


/ (ˌɛlɪˈmɛntəl) /

  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

  1. of or relating to earth, air, water, and fire considered as elements

  2. of or relating to atmospheric forces, esp wind, rain, and cold

  3. of, relating to, or denoting a chemical element

  1. rare a spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form

Derived forms of elemental

  • 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