el·​e·​men·​ta·​ry ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce elementary (audio)
: of, relating to, or dealing with the simplest elements or principles of something
: of or relating to an elementary school
elementarily adverb
elementariness 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 grand marshal will be Pia Harris-Ebert, longtime San Marcos elementary teacher and the first woman to serve on the San Marcos City Council. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Nov. 2023 The goal is to have a community reader in every elementary classroom. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 15 Oct. 2023 In Charlotte County, near Fort Myers, schools were told to remove any books with LGBTQ characters from elementary and middle school libraries. Ruby Cramer, Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2023 Most scams follow an elementary bait-and-switch technique, where the scoundrel lures you in with attractive bait and then, at the right time, switches to a different option. WIRED, 2 Oct. 2023 In a Facebook post, Bonnie Albert said that the moose on the loose arrived just before elementary students were arriving at Naquag Elementary School in Rutland, Massachusetts on Monday. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 1 Nov. 2023 The stadium is owned and operated by the school district, which is where Richardson completed her elementary and high school studies. Melissa Noel, Essence, 31 Oct. 2023 Instead, it could be used for an elementary or middle school. Lauren Lumpkin, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 Teach your children well A new law written by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood) will require California public schools to include climate change in their science curricula for elementary and high school students. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elementary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near elementary

Cite this Entry

“Elementary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elementary. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


el·​e·​men·​ta·​ry ˌel-ə-ˈment-ə-rē How to pronounce elementary (audio)
: of or relating to the simplest principles of a subject
: of, relating to, or teaching the basic subjects of education

More from Merriam-Webster on elementary

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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