adjective el·e·men·ta·ry \ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē, -ˈmen-trē\

: basic and simple : involving the simplest parts of a subject

: of or relating to elementary school

Full Definition of ELEMENTARY

a :  of, relating to, or dealing with the simplest elements or principles of something
b :  of or relating to an elementary school
:  elemental 1a, b
:  elemental 2
el·e·men·ta·ri·ly \-ˌmen-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˈmen-trə-lē\ adverb
el·e·men·ta·ri·ness \-ˈmen-tə-rē-nəs, -ˈmen-trē-\ noun

Examples of ELEMENTARY

  1. He is lacking even the most elementary notions of fairness.
  2. The researchers made an elementary error.
  3. He has an elementary understanding of calculus.

First Known Use of ELEMENTARY

14th century

Other Education Terms

baccalaureate, colloquium, corequisite, dissertation, monograph, pedant, practicum, survey course, thesis
ELEMENTARY Defined for Kids


adjective el·e·men·ta·ry \ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē, -ˈmen-trē\

Definition of ELEMENTARY for Kids

:  relating to the beginnings or simplest principles of a subject <elementary arithmetic>
:  relating to or teaching the basic subjects of education <elementary school>
July 07, 2015
hoosegow Hear it
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears