adjective sim·ple \ˈsim-pəl\

: not hard to understand or do

: having few parts : not complex or fancy

: not special or unusual

sim·pler \-p(ə-)lər\ sim·plest \-p(ə-)ləst\

Full Definition of SIMPLE

:  free from guile :  innocent
a :  free from vanity :  modest
b :  free from ostentation or display <a simple outfit>
:  of humble origin or modest position <a simple farmer>
a :  lacking in knowledge or expertise <a simple amateur of the arts>
b (1) :  stupid
(2) :  mentally retarded
c :  not socially or culturally sophisticated :  naive; also :  credulous
a :  sheer, unmixed <simple honesty>
b :  free of secondary complications <a simple vitamin deficiency>
c (1) :  having only one main clause and no subordinate clauses <a simple sentence>
(2) of a subject or predicate :  having no modifiers, complements, or objects
d :  constituting a basic element :  fundamental
e :  not made up of many like units <a simple eye>
:  free from elaboration or figuration <simple harmony>
a (1) :  not subdivided into branches or leaflets <a simple stem> <a simple leaf> (2) :  consisting of a single carpel (3) :  developing from a single ovary <a simple fruit>
b :  controlled by a single gene <simple inherited characters>
:  not limited or restricted :  unconditional <a simple obligation>
:  readily understood or performed <simple directions> <the adjustment was simple to make>
of a statistical hypothesis :  specifying exact values for one or more statistical parameters — compare composite 3
sim·ple·ness \-pəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of SIMPLE

  1. The solution to the problem was relatively simple.
  2. The answer is really quite simple.
  3. There are three simple steps to follow.
  4. The camera is simple to use.
  5. Don't go into too much detail in the report. Just keep it simple and to the point.
  6. The melody is very simple.
  7. I'm a simple farmer just trying to make a living.
  8. He enjoys the simple pleasure of spending time with his wife and kids after work.
  9. Relaxing on the beach and watching the sunset is one of life's simple pleasures.

Origin of SIMPLE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin simplus, alteration of Latin simplic-, simplex single, having one ingredient, plain, from sem-, sim- one + -plic-, -plex -fold — more at same, -fold
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of SIMPLE

simple, foolish, silly, fatuous, asinine mean actually or apparently deficient in intelligence. simple implies a degree of intelligence inadequate to cope with anything complex or involving mental effort <considered people simple who had trouble with computers>. foolish implies the character of being or seeming unable to use judgment, discretion, or good sense <foolish stunts>. silly suggests failure to act as a rational being especially by ridiculous behavior <the silly antics of revelers>. fatuous implies foolishness, inanity, and disregard of reality <fatuous conspiracy theories>. asinine suggests utter and contemptible failure to use normal rationality or perception <an asinine plot>.
synonyms see in addition easy

Rhymes with SIMPLE



Definition of SIMPLE

a :  a person of humble birth :  commoner <thought very little of anybody, simples or gentry — Virginia Woolf>
b (1) :  a rude or credulous person :  ignoramus
(2) :  a mentally retarded person
a :  a medicinal plant
b :  a vegetable drug having only one ingredient
:  one component of a complex; specifically :  an unanalyzable constituent

First Known Use of SIMPLE

14th century
SIMPLE Defined for Kids


adjective sim·ple \ˈsim-pəl\

Definition of SIMPLE for Kids

:  not hard to understand or solve <a simple task>
:  1easy 1, straightforward <a simple explanation>
:  lacking in education, experience, or intelligence <The queen was really a simple soul and always … had done nothing except state the overly obvious. — Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux>
:  not complex or fancy <She wore simple clothing.>
:  innocent 1, modest
:  not rich or important <simple folk>
:  without qualification :  sheer <the simple truth>
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