element

noun
el·​e·​ment | \ ˈe-lə-mənt \

Definition of element

1a : any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe
b elements 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 : a constituent part: such as
a elements 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 elements plural : the bread and wine used in the Eucharist
element table

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Synonyms & Antonyms for element

Synonyms

building block, component, constituent, factor, ingredient, member

Antonyms

whole

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of element in a Sentence

Water is composed of the elements hydrogen and oxygen. a free press is an essential element of a democracy

Recent Examples on the Web

But Altuzarra’s take on the concept adds a fresh element: the actual clients. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Altuzarra Is 10! To Celebrate, the Designer Is Reissuing His Friends’ Favorite Archival Pieces," 7 Jan. 2019 In the past, Lili's red carpet style has had a similar element of matching your shoes to your outfit. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart Wore a Mullet Dress and Won the Golden Globes Red Carpet," 7 Jan. 2019 As for what the ship uses for a primary power source, MacFarlane initially wondered if thorium would work, a radioactive element used in certain newer nuclear reactor designs instead of uranium. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The Orville blends science fiction and science fact into a winning mix," 29 Dec. 2018 Runniness that is sudden and short-lived can be due to other elements in the environment. Amy Marturana, SELF, "What Your Snot Can Tell You About Your Health," 26 Dec. 2018 Warm Mist: This type uses a heating element to make steam, and can slightly warm the room's air in the process. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Humidifiers to Buy This Winter," 20 Dec. 2018 According to a source, Baldwin needs a religious element for the wedding to feel official. Dan Barna, Glamour, "So This Is Why Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber Wanted to Get Married at the Courthouse," 22 Oct. 2018 In the increasingly homogenous world of glass backs and notches, the Mate 20s still manage to stand out, mostly due to the attention Huawei has paid to a design element that’s usually overlooked: the arrangement of the camera. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Huawei Mate 20 Mate 20 Pro hands on: Enter the Matrix with the do-it-all Android phones," 16 Oct. 2018 Temperatures in Doha that day were in the mid-90s, the sunshine felt oppressive, and the playing field was uncovered, open to all the elements. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "The 2022 World Cup Plants Some Trees and Prepares to Step Into the Spotlight," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'element.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of element

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for element

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

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Dictionary Entries near element

eleidin

elem

eleme figs

element

elemental

elementalism

elementary

Statistics for element

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for element

The first known use of element was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for element

element

noun

English Language Learners 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

element

noun
el·​e·​ment | \ ˈe-lə-mənt \

Kids Definition of element

1 : any of more than 100 substances that cannot by ordinary chemical means be separated into different substances Gold and carbon are elements.
2 : one of the parts of which something is made up There is an element of risk in surfing.
3 : the simplest principles of a subject of study the elements of arithmetic
4 : a member of a mathematical set
5 : the state or place natural to or suited to a person or thing At school I was in my element.
6 elements plural : the forces of nature

element

noun
el·​e·​ment | \ ˈel-ə-mənt \

Medical Definition of element

1 : any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe
2 : a constituent part: as
a : any of more than 100 fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter
b : 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

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element

noun
el·​e·​ment

Legal Definition of element

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on element

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for element

Spanish Central: Translation of element

Nglish: Translation of element for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of element for Arabic Speakers

Comments on element

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