- 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
1. indispensable, primary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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 non-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