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adjective fun·da·men·tal \ˌfən-də-ˈmen-təl\

Simple Definition of fundamental

  • : forming or relating to the most important part of something

  • : of or relating to the basic structure or function of something

Full Definition of fundamental

  1. 1 a :  serving as an original or generating source :  primary <a discovery fundamental to modern computers> b :  serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function :  basic

  2. 2 a :  of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts :  radical <fundamental change>; also :  of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application <fundamental science> b :  adhering to fundamentalism

  3. 3 :  of, relating to, or produced by the lowest component of a complex vibration

  4. 4 :  of central importance :  principal <fundamental purpose>

  5. 5 :  belonging to one's innate or ingrained characteristics :  deep-rooted <her fundamental good humor>

fun·da·men·tal·ly play \-təl-ē\ adverb

Examples of fundamental

  1. The Constitution ensures our fundamental rights.

  2. There's a fundamental difference between these two political parties.

  3. These ideas are of fundamental importance.

  4. The revolution brought about a fundamental change in the country.

  5. We need to make some fundamental changes in the way we do business.

  6. We need to address these problems on a more fundamental level.

15th Century

First Known Use of fundamental

15th century

Synonym Discussion of fundamental

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character <conflict is essential in drama>. fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse <fundamental principles of algebra>. vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation <cut off from vital supplies>. cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends <a cardinal rule in buying a home>.



noun fun·da·men·tal

Simple Definition of fundamental

  • : one of the basic and important parts of something : a fundamental part

Full Definition of fundamental

  1. 1 :  something fundamental; especially :  one of the minimum constituents without which a thing or a system would not be what it is

  2. 2 a :  the principal musical tone produced by vibration (as of a string or column of air) on which a series of higher harmonics is based b :  the root of a chord

  3. 3 :  the harmonic component of a complex wave that has the lowest frequency and commonly the greatest amplitude


First Known Use of fundamental


Medical Dictionary


noun fun·da·men·tal \ˌfən-də-ˈment-əl\

Medical Definition of fundamental

  1. :  the principal musical tone produced by vibration (as of a string or column of air) on which a series of higher overtones is based

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February 9, 2016

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