[ roo-duh-muhnt ]
/ ˈru də mənt /
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See synonyms for: rudiment / rudiments on Thesaurus.com


Usually rudiments.
  1. the elements or first principles of a subject: the rudiments of grammar.
  2. a mere beginning, first slight appearance, or undeveloped or imperfect form of something: the rudiments of a plan.
Biology. an organ or part incompletely developed in size or structure, as one in an embryonic stage, one arrested in growth, or one with no functional activity, as a vestige.



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Origin of rudiment

1540–50; <Latin rudīmentum early training, first experience, initial stage, equivalent to rudi(s) unformed, rough (see rude) + -mentum-ment (-ī- for -i- after verbal derivatives)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for rudiment

British Dictionary definitions for rudiment

/ (ˈruːdɪmənt) /


(often plural) the first principles or elementary stages of a subject
(often plural) a partially developed version of something
biology an organ or part in its earliest recognizable form, esp one in an embryonic or vestigial state

Word Origin for rudiment

C16: from Latin rudīmentum a beginning, from rudis unformed; see rude
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

Medical definitions for rudiment

[ rōōdə-mənt ]


An imperfectly or incompletely developed organ or part.
Something in an incipient or undeveloped form. Often used in the plural.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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