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

And a rigorous new English curriculum was adopted in elementary and middle schools. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Amid Baltimore's struggles, many see schools CEO Sonja Santelises as stabilizing force," 3 July 2019 Crawford was born in Mountain View, and lived with his family in Menlo Park before moving to Pleasanton for his elementary and high school years. Jane Tyska, The Mercury News, "Photos: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford’s Foothill High School days in Pleasanton," 27 June 2019 Overcrowding concerns Beechwood School District parents worry the quick development could lead to overcrowded classrooms in the elementary and high school that near capacity. Julia Fair, Cincinnati.com, "'Close friendships are close friendships.' Kenton County apartments move forward despite conflict of interest concerns," 26 June 2019 The district is in the process of moving away from the K-8 system at several schools and creating distinct elementary and middle schools. oregonlive.com, "Beaverton to address $12 million accounting error, GOP walkout puts sexual misconduct bill in limbo: The week in education," 22 June 2019 These groups say scapegoating the test diverts attention from the real problem, students’ lack of preparation in low-performing elementary and middle schools. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Albany Passes on Changing Admissions to New York City’s Elite Schools," 21 June 2019 As part of the construction of a new stadium, elementary and junior high schools on a property located along the Grand Parkway and Cypress Rosehill Road, the board will also consider approving a materials testing agreement with Terracon for $58,950. Mayra Cruz, Houston Chronicle, "Tonight: Tomball ISD to induct new board member, decide on $141 budget for 2019-2020," 11 June 2019 This color-shifting jewelry piece was the conversation starter of most of our elementary and middle school conversations. Teen Vogue, "The Best Bucket Hat for Every Mood," 5 June 2019 People all along the political spectrum speak highly of his decision to halve the size of elementary-school classes in disadvantaged zones, from twenty-four students to twelve. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?," 24 June 2019

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

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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