• synonyms


  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.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for elementally

Contemporary Examples of elementally

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


  1. fundamental; basic; primalthe elemental needs of man
  2. motivated by or symbolic of primitive and powerful natural forces or passionselemental 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
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  1. rare a spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper