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 Extra federal funding also contributed to three Medford elementary schools offering broadened summer learning opportunities. oregonlive, "In Medford, summer school expands after vulnerable students struggle with distance learning," 28 June 2020 The budget shows other new expenditures, including $2 million to expand prekindergarten to a full-day program at all elementary schools, and $1.8 million for staff at the three new ninth-grade centers being built. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "Spring ISD passes deficit budget for employee raises, full-day pre-K," 26 June 2020 Devoe spoke at 10 elementary schools and two secondary schools within the Anchorage School District during 2019 and early 2020, district spokesman Alan Brown said Thursday. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage motivational speaker now faces federal child pornography charges," 26 June 2020 The petition objects to the names of Jefferson, Washington, Wilson and Madison elementary schools. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "People are petitioning to rename Wauwatosa schools named after 'slave owners, segregationists'," 25 June 2020 The discussions also included potential renovations at Curtis and Ereckson middle schools and Boon, Chandler, Cheatham, Evans and Olson elementary schools. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "Here are the projects Allen ISD has discussed for a potential bond election this November," 20 June 2020 The final day of instruction at elementary schools like Bret Harte was May 22. Miki Katoni And Nina Sparling, SFChronicle.com, "Distance learning for some kids at SF elementary school came with an extra challenge: No internet connection," 19 June 2020 Her two eldest children attended Nellie Stone Johnson elementary, which according to the lawsuit, was 96% children of color; 93% of students received free and reduced lunch. Alana Semuels, Time, "Segregation Has Gotten Worse, Not Better, and It's Fueling the Wealth Gap Between Black and White Americans," 19 June 2020 Over time, the climate — and academics — improved, something Cover recounts in her book about turning around low-performing elementary schools. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, "Defund police in schools? How the movement got momentum after George Floyd's death," 12 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for elementary

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for elementary

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elementary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elementary. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for elementary


How to pronounce elementary (audio)

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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