Definition of element
1a : any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universeb elements plural : weather conditions; especially : violent or severe weather battling the elementsc : the state or sphere natural or suited to a person or thing at school she was in her element
2 : a constituent part: such asa elements plural : the simplest principles of a subject of study : rudimentsb (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 determinantc : a distinct group within a larger group or community the criminal element in the cityd (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 processe : any of the fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matterf : a distinct part of a composite deviceg : a subdivision of a military unit
3 elements plural : the bread and wine used in the Eucharist
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
Origin and Etymology of element
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin elementum
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of element
ELEMENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of element for English Language Learners
chemistry : one of the basic substances that are made of atoms of only one kind and that cannot be separated by ordinary chemical means into simpler substances
: a particular part of something (such as a situation or activity)
: a part of an electrical device that produces heat
ELEMENT Defined for Kids
Definition of element for Students
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
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: asa: any of more than 100 fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matterb: 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
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
Seen and Heard
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