el·​e·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē\

Definition of elementary

1a : of, relating to, or dealing with the simplest elements or principles of something
b : of or relating to an elementary school

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Other Words from elementary

elementarily \ ˌe-​lə-​ˌmen-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce elementarily (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trə-​lē \ adverb
elementariness \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈmen-​tə-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce elementariness (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trē-​ \ noun

Examples of elementary in a Sentence

He is lacking even the most elementary notions of fairness. The researchers made an elementary error. He has an elementary understanding of calculus.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The scale scores are based on 2018-19 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, tests at the elementary and middle school levels. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "How Houston-area school districts fared in the TEA's latest accountability report," 27 Aug. 2019 Enrollment surge The district's enrollment projections call for increasing numbers of students at the elementary level in the coming years. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Elmbrook to spend $7.3M to build a new gym and upgrade the HVAC system at Tonawanda Elementary," 22 Aug. 2019 The Ocean View district serves more than 8,000 students at 16 elementary, middle and preschool campuses in Huntington Beach, Midway City, Westminster and Fountain Valley. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Ocean View School District board appoints new leaders at four campuses," 14 Aug. 2019 At the elementary level, spending amounts can range widely as well. al, "Here’s how much each Alabama school spent on students," 5 Aug. 2019 The board also met in regular session and approved raising lunch prices from $2.75 to $3 for elementary, from $3 to $3.25 for middle school, and from $3.25 to $3.50 for high school. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, July 28," 28 July 2019 The Ocean View district serves more than 8,000 students at 16 elementary, middle and preschool campuses in Huntington Beach, Midway City, Westminster and Fountain Valley. Daily Pilot Staff, latimes.com, "Ocean View superintendent gets ‘outstanding’ rating, plus pay increase," 3 July 2019 UC Davis' reserves provide an outdoor laboratory space for university level research classes, as well as activities for students from elementary level to high school. Adesuwa Agbonile, sacbee, "Fire dangers keeping UC Davis reserves in western Yolo County on high alert," 3 July 2018 Hillman suggested the number of out-school-suspensions could be hitting a plateau, a trend that’s also appearing at the elementary level. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "There's a growing trend of Naperville-area students being caught vaping, sometimes with THC," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elementary.' 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 elementary

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for elementary

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for elementary

The first known use of elementary was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for elementary



English Language Learners Definition of elementary

: basic and simple : involving the simplest parts of a subject
chiefly US : of or relating to elementary school


el·​e·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē\

Kids Definition of elementary

1 : relating to the beginnings or simplest principles of a subject elementary arithmetic
2 : relating to or teaching the basic subjects of education elementary school

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Comments on elementary

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recurring in steady succession

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