element

noun
el·​e·​ment | \ ˈe-lə-mənt How to pronounce element (audio) \

Definition of element

1a : any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe
b elements plural : weather conditions especially : violent or severe weather battling the elements
c : the state or sphere natural or suited to a person or thing at school she was in her element
2 : a constituent part: such as
a elements plural : the simplest principles of a subject of study : rudiments
b(1) : a part of a geometric magnitude an infinitesimal element of volume
(2) : a generator of a geometric figure also : a line or line segment contained in the surface of a cone or cylinder
(3) : a basic member of a mathematical or logical class or set
(4) : one of the individual entries in a mathematical matrix or determinant
c : a distinct group within a larger group or community the criminal element in the city
d(1) : one of the necessary data or values on which calculations or conclusions are based
(2) : one of the factors determining the outcome of a process
e : any of the fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter
f : a distinct part of a composite device
g : a subdivision of a military unit
3 elements plural : the bread and wine used in the Eucharist
element table

Synonyms & Antonyms for element

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for element

element, component, constituent, ingredient mean one of the parts of a compound or complex whole. element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity. the basic elements of geometry component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character. the components of a stereo system constituent stresses its essential and formative character. the constituents of a chemical compound ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture. the ingredients of a cocktail

Examples of element in a Sentence

Water is composed of the elements hydrogen and oxygen. a free press is an essential element of a democracy
Recent Examples on the Web Customize any set of handmade or store-bought cards with a glittery design element to amp up the impact. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 30 Sep. 2022 The design incorporates carbon fiber and a non-reflective matte element. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 29 Sep. 2022 Fresh or frozen peach slices and peach preserves lend a lovely sweet element to this crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving turkey recipe. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Sep. 2022 As sodium is a plentiful element, sodium batteries are also quite cost-effective. Doug Johnson, Ars Technica, 26 Sep. 2022 It’s also on the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites as a contributing element of the Glover-Archbold Historic District. Luz Lazo, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2022 In addition to these aspects of the Caribbean, the founders of The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival (BCLF) wanted to dedicate a platform to recognizing a cultural element that runs through all of them—stories. Melissa Noel, Essence, 21 Sep. 2022 Florida’s running backs have benefitted, but a key element of the offense is now missing. Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 19 Sep. 2022 Doors and door frames are considered a limited common element. Howard Dakoff, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'element.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of element

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for element

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin elementum

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Time Traveler for element

Time Traveler

The first known use of element was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near element

eleme figs

element

elemental

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Statistics for element

Last Updated

5 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Element.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/element. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for element

element

noun
el·​e·​ment | \ ˈe-lə-mənt How to pronounce element (audio) \

Kids Definition of element

1 : any of more than 100 substances that cannot by ordinary chemical means be separated into different substances Gold and carbon are elements.
2 : one of the parts of which something is made up There is an element of risk in surfing.
3 : the simplest principles of a subject of study the elements of arithmetic
4 : a member of a mathematical set
5 : the state or place natural to or suited to a person or thing At school I was in my element.
6 elements plural : the forces of nature

element

noun
el·​e·​ment | \ ˈel-ə-mənt How to pronounce element (audio) \

Medical Definition of element

1 : any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe
2 : a constituent part: as
a : any of more than 100 fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter
b : one of the distinct parts (as a lens) of a composite device (as a microscope)
c : one of the basic constituent units (as a cell or fiber) of a tissue

element

noun
el·​e·​ment

Legal Definition of element

: one of the constituent parts (as a particular act, a mental state, or an attendant circumstance) of a crime as defined by statute that the prosecution must prove to win a conviction

More from Merriam-Webster on element

Nglish: Translation of element for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of element for Arabic Speakers

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