Origin of elemental

From the Medieval Latin word elementālis, dating back to 1485–95. See element, -al1
Related formsel·e·men·tal·ly, adverbnon·el·e·men·tal, adjectivenon·el·e·men·tal·ly, adverbpost·el·e·men·tal, adjectivepre·el·e·men·tal, adjectivesub·el·e·men·tal, adjectivesub·el·e·men·tal·ly, adverbtrans·el·e·men·tal, adjectiveun·el·e·men·tal, adjectiveun·el·e·men·tal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedelemental elementary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elementally

Contemporary Examples of elementally

  • He picked this particular Rosato because it was "elementally simple" like the bruschetta itself.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Secrets of Matchmaking

    Katie Workman

    August 11, 2009

Historical Examples of elementally

  • This was not the first undertaking in which their gifts, as elementally different as fire and water, had worked in conjunction.

  • So elementally brutal was this man that he pounded his legs until they were black and blue, before feeling returned to them.

    Deadly City

    Paul W. Fairman

  • She had not yet met a man with the poetical twist in the brain to prize her elementally.

  • He could be as elementally raw at times as a screaming savage; and at other times as delicate as a maid, as subtle as a Spaniard.

  • But there are certain things that are elementally funny, that make all people laugh who have any laughter in their souls.

British Dictionary definitions for elementally



fundamental; basic; primalthe elemental needs of man
motivated by or symbolic of primitive and powerful natural forces or passionselemental rites of worship
of or relating to earth, air, water, and fire considered as elements
of or relating to atmospheric forces, esp wind, rain, and cold
of, relating to, or denoting a chemical element


rare a spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form
Derived Formselementally, adverbelementalism, 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

Word Origin and History for elementally



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