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.


Origin of fundamental

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin fundāmentālis of, belonging to a foundation. See fundament, -al1
Related formsfun·da·men·tal·i·ty, fun·da·men·tal·ness, nounfun·da·men·tal·ly, adverbnon·fun·da·men·tal, adjective, nounnon·fun·da·men·tal·ly, adverbun·fun·da·men·tal, adjectiveun·fun·da·men·tal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for fundamental Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for fundamentally

essentially, centrally, radically

Examples from the Web for fundamentally

Contemporary Examples of fundamentally

Historical Examples of fundamentally

British Dictionary definitions for fundamentally



in a way that affects the basis or essentials; utterlythe terms of engagement have been fundamentally altered
(sentence modifier) in essence; at heartfundamentally, we want our lives to be safe



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
  1. the principal or lowest note of a harmonic series
  2. the bass note of a chord in root position
Also called: fundamental frequency, first harmonic physics
  1. the component of lowest frequency in a complex vibration
  2. the frequency of this component
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 fundamentally

c.1600, from fundamental + -ly (2).



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