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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The median annual wage for elementary, middle and high school principals is $98,420. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 That data includes all principals at the elementary, middle and high school level in both public and private schools. al, 25 July 2022 Experts in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education were consulted extensively. Edward Conroy, Forbes, 30 June 2022 The institute included teachers who teach a range of subjects in upper elementary, middle and high school grades. Sergio Carmona, Sun Sentinel, 24 June 2022 After all, the name is plastered on 62 businesses, the mountains, elementary, middle and high schools. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 June 2022 The board’s plan was to combat school overcrowding and address inequities in the distribution of students by moving 2,827 elementary, 568 middle and 2,007 high school students. Allana Haynes, Baltimore Sun, 16 June 2022 Experts warned against trying to compare Moderna’s vaccine with Pfizer’s for elementary, middle and high schoolers, even though the two vaccines have largely followed parallel tracks. New York Times, 14 June 2022 Ohio ranks 20th in the nation for money spent per pupil in public elementary, middle, and high schools, reports Zachary Smith. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 13 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near elementary



elementary algebra

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elementary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elementary. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for elementary


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

More from Merriam-Webster on elementary

Nglish: Translation of elementary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elementary for Arabic Speakers


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