[ fuhn-duh-men-tl ]
/ ˌfʌn dəˈmɛn tl /


serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying: fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.
of, relating to, or affecting the foundation or basis: a fundamental revision.
being an original or primary source: a fundamental idea.
Music. (of a chord) having its root as its lowest note.


Nearby words

  1. fund supermarket,
  2. fund-raise,
  3. fund-raiser,
  4. fund-raising,
  5. fundament,
  6. fundamental bass,
  7. fundamental constant,
  8. fundamental force,
  9. fundamental frequency,
  10. fundamental interaction

Origin of fundamental

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin fundāmentālis of, belonging to a foundation. See fundament, -al1

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fundamental

British Dictionary definitions for fundamental


/ (ˌfʌndəˈmɛntəl) /


of, involving, or comprising a foundation; basic
of, involving, or comprising a source; primary
music denoting or relating to the principal or lowest note of a harmonic series
of or concerned with the component of lowest frequency in a complex vibration


Derived Formsfundamentality or fundamentalness, 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 fundamental



mid-15c., "primary, original, pertaining to a foundation," modeled on Late Latin fundamentalis "of the foundation," from Latin fundamentum "foundation" (see fundament). Fundamentals "primary principles or rules" of anything is from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper