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element

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noun el·e·ment \ˈe-lə-mənt\

Simple Definition of element

  • chemistry : one of the basic substances that are made of atoms of only one kind and that cannot be separated by ordinary chemical means into simpler substances

  • : a particular part of something (such as a situation or activity)

  • : a part of an electrical device that produces heat

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of element

  1. 1 a :  any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe b plural :  weather conditions; especially :  violent or severe weather <battling the elements> c :  the state or sphere natural or suited to a person or thing <at school she was in her element>

  2. 2 :  a constituent part: as a plural :  the simplest principles of a subject of study :  rudiments b (1) :  a part of a geometric magnitude <an infinitesimal element of volume> (2) :  a generator of a geometric figure; also :  a line or line segment contained in the surface of a cone or cylinder (3) :  a basic member of a mathematical or logical class or set (4) :  one of the individual entries in a mathematical matrix or determinant c :  a distinct group within a larger group or community <the criminal element in the city> d (1) :  one of the necessary data or values on which calculations or conclusions are based (2) :  one of the factors determining the outcome of a process e :  any of the fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter f :  a distinct part of a composite device g :  a subdivision of a military unit

  3. 3 plural :  the bread and wine used in the Eucharist

Examples of element in a sentence

  1. Water is composed of the elements hydrogen and oxygen.

  2. <a free press is an essential element of a democracy>



Origin and Etymology of element

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin elementum


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of element

element, component, constituent, ingredient mean one of the parts of a compound or complex whole. element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity <the basic elements of geometry>. component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character <the components of a stereo system>. constituent stresses its essential and formative character <the constituents of a chemical compound>. ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture <the ingredients of a cocktail>.

Other Chemical Engineering Terms



ELEMENT Defined for Kids

element

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noun el·e·ment \ˈe-lə-mənt\

Definition of element for Students

  1. 1 :  any of more than 100 substances that cannot by ordinary chemical means be separated into different substances <Gold and carbon are elements.>

  2. 2 :  one of the parts of which something is made up <There is an element of risk in surfing.>

  3. 3 :  the simplest principles of a subject of study <the elements of arithmetic>

  4. 4 :  a member of a mathematical set

  5. 5 :  the state or place natural to or suited to a person or thing <At school I was in my element.>

  6. 6 elements plural :  the forces of nature




Medical Dictionary

element

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noun el·e·ment \ˈel-ə-mənt\

Medical Definition of element

  1. 1:  any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe

  2. 2:  a constituent part: asa:  any of more than 100 fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matterb:  one of the distinct parts (as a lens) of a composite device (as a microscope)c:  one of the basic constituent units (as a cell or fiber) of a tissue




Law Dictionary

element

noun el·e·ment

Legal Definition of element

  1. :  one of the constituent parts (as a particular act, a mental state, or an attendant circumstance) of a crime as defined by statute that the prosecution must prove to win a conviction





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