- 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.
- a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part: to master the fundamentals of a trade.
- Also called fundamental note, fundamental tone. Music.
- the root of a chord.
- the generator of a series of harmonics.
- Physics. the component of lowest frequency in a composite wave.
Origin of fundamental
SynonymsSee more synonyms for fundamental on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fundamental
This is a testament to the fundamental human—and American—desire to combine place and possibility.Will Texas Stay Texan?
December 29, 2014
In the meantime, we continue to support the restoration of fundamental human rights in Cuba.Why Congress Hates Your Cuban Rum
December 19, 2014
Moreover, for America there is a fundamental imperative to act.U.S. Should Make North Korea Pay for Sony Hack
Gordon G. Chang
December 18, 2014
This fundamental conservative idea, that men are brutes so women better take care, is, itself, victim-blaming.Church Sex Scandals Are Rooted in Theology
December 15, 2014
Yet the Meduza office was full of hope and what the journalists described as a fundamental change—they felt free in Riga.Russia’s Freest Website Now Lives in Latvia
November 29, 2014
For once, he was revealing that fundamental egotism which is the characteristic of all his kind.Within the Law
The fundamental element and special glory of popular literature.
In literary affairs, to become the fundamental element in a cone of critics.
But it can do something, and that something is vital and fundamental.Heroes of the Telegraph
A submission to the will of the majority is a fundamental principle of our institutions.Cleveland Past and Present
- 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
- a principle, law, etc, that serves as the basis of an idea or system
- the principal or lowest note of a harmonic series
- the bass note of a chord in root position
- Also called: fundamental frequency, first harmonic physics
- the component of lowest frequency in a complex vibration
- the frequency of this component
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.