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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from elementary

elementarily \ ˌe-​lə-​ˌmen-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trə-​lē \ adverb
elementariness \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈmen-​tə-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce elementary (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Lovejoy ISD is closing its flagship elementary campus, part of a raft of recommendations the district is making to cover shortfalls totaling about $9 million over two school years. Dallas News, 4 June 2021 Savanna Shepherd, an art expert turned elementary art teacher, sets out to solve another mystery in her hometown. Daria Smith, Southern Living, 2 June 2021 Sohyun An, a professor of elementary and early childhood education at Kennesaw University in Georgia, has researched AAPI history education across ten states including, Georgia, California, New Jersey and Texas. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 31 May 2021 Based on surveys last fall of 169 Georgia elementary schools, the researchers also found cases were 39% lower in schools that took steps to improve ventilation, like opening windows and doors, using fans, or using air filtration systems. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 May 2021 In Broward County, a teacher at a Coral Springs elementary assigned students this month to read a fictional book about a Black boy killed by a white police officer, but the district halted it after complaints. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, 30 May 2021 And some concede that if the bill is approved, as expected, students who can’t write very well or do elementary algebra would nonetheless be allowed to graduate without the school having to teach them more. oregonlive, 28 May 2021 Founded in 2005 by Robert and Deborah Blair as a tuition-free boarding school primarily for at-risk boys from low-income backgrounds in West End neighborhoods, the school expanded to the elementary levels in 2012. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 28 May 2021 Many of this year’s finalists are confronting challenges such as access to basic education for girls, elementary literacy and education among refugee populations — all during the globally debilitating pandemic. Derek Newton, Forbes, 25 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of elementary

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About elementary

Time Traveler for elementary

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for elementary

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elementary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elementary. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!