fundamental

adjective
fun·​da·​men·​tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce fundamental (audio) \

Definition of fundamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function : basic Responsibility is fundamental to democracy. The Constitution ensures our fundamental rights.
b : serving as an original or generating source : primary a discovery fundamental to modern computers
2a : of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts : radical fundamental change also : of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application fundamental science
b : adhering to fundamentalism a preacher who is evangelical, Bible-teaching, and fundamental
3 : of central importance : principal fundamental purpose such fundamental events as birth, marriage, and death
4 : belonging to one's innate or ingrained characteristics : deep-rooted her fundamental good humor
5 : of, relating to, or produced by the lowest component of a complex vibration (see vibration sense 1)

fundamental

noun

Definition of fundamental (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something fundamental especially : one of the minimum constituents without which a thing or a system would not be what it is
2a : the principal musical tone produced by vibration (as of a string or column of air) on which a series of higher harmonics is based
b : the root of a chord
3 : the harmonic component of a complex wave that has the lowest frequency and commonly the greatest amplitude

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Choose the Right Synonym for fundamental

Adjective

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character. conflict is essential in drama fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse. fundamental principles of algebra vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation. cut off from vital supplies cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends. a cardinal rule in buying a home

Examples of fundamental in a Sentence

Adjective The Constitution ensures our fundamental rights. There's a fundamental difference between these two political parties. These ideas are of fundamental importance. The revolution brought about a fundamental change in the country. We need to make some fundamental changes in the way we do business. We need to address these problems on a more fundamental level.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That all people have a fundamental right to decide if, when and how to have children, and that parenthood should not limit women’s careers. 500 Women Scientists, Scientific American, "Four Years after Science Took a Hit, There’s Hope," 17 Nov. 2020 Existence, as well as being recognized by your partner as existing, is a fundamental right of all dense matter. Liana Finck, The New Yorker, "Dear Pepper: Interruptions, Hostess Gifts, and Toilet Clogs," 15 Nov. 2020 Pro-gun groups have filed a lawsuit in New Jersey claiming that the state's firearm laws deny residents their fundamental constitutional right to carry a handgun outside their home. Fox News, "Gun groups challenge NJ laws on open carry of handguns," 3 Nov. 2020 The impact of outrageous efforts to unjustly disqualify people's most fundamental right — to vote — must be aggressively covered on Election Day. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The media has combatted dangerous claims for four years. Tuesday will be the ultimate test," 2 Nov. 2020 Here in Michigan, where the right to vote is the most fundamental right. NBC News, "Meet the Press - Nov. 01, 2020," 1 Nov. 2020 Even now, with the Nov. 3 election, voter suppression measures are undermining this fundamental right. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "Yes, Black Americans are entitled to reparations. We’ve earned them.," 30 Oct. 2020 The 1974 Supreme Court case O’Brien v. Skinner established that pretrial detainees have a fundamental right to vote. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Getting Out the Vote in the Maze of Mass Incarceration," 28 Oct. 2020 While elections officials want to provide the safest environment possible, voting is a fundamental right, Albence said. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Voting 2020 live updates: President Trump expected to cast Florida ballot; Delaware voters won't be forced to wear masks," 24 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For a company of its size, that kind of a move is less a reflection of business fundamentals,... Laura Forman, WSJ, "Shopify’s Blurred Lines Are Hard to Hate," 26 May 2020 Investors should consider making pair trades, buying the cheaper and shorting the dearer of two materials that are linked to the same economic fundamentals, the strategists wrote. Gregor Stuart Hunter, Bloomberg.com, "Morgan Stanley Quants Map Out Trades for Turmoil Then Turnaround," 12 May 2020 When at its best, Golden State expertly exhibits the fundamentals of the game, pulling from the Harlem Globetrotters and Hickory High for an up-tempo style all its own. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Inside Vonteego Cummings’ bond with Warriors: ‘That’s my family for life’," 26 Apr. 2020 Braidy wanted students to learn the fundamentals of the main systems used in manufacturing plants, such as hydraulic and motor control systems, Tackett said. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Ashland college trains students to work at Braidy Industries' future aluminum mill," 23 Dec. 2019 With six teams in the coed division, ages 6-8, the focus is on learning the fundamentals and rules of the game. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Eagles soar to Cooper City Optimist Flag Football title over Dolphins," 12 Dec. 2019 Participants will learn the fundamentals of basketball from college level coaches and players. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Rec Sports: Tryouts & Registrations for Oct. 20, 2019," 19 Oct. 2019 Program Themes Program Themes Explore each these topics over the course of the program: Multimedia Journalism Learn the fundamentals of journalism and how National Geographic approaches reporting a topic. National Geographic, "Photo, Film, and Multimedia Journalism at Nat Geo in Washington, D.C.," 10 Sep. 2019 Clothing Alterations: Learn the fundamentals of fitting, styling, re-styling, and repairs. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "MiraCosta College offers enrichment courses in hobbies and skills," 5 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fundamental.' 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 fundamental

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Noun

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fundamental

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Late Latin fundāmentālis "serving as a foundation," from Latin fundāmentum "foundation, basis" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at fundament

Noun

derivative of fundamental entry 1

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Time Traveler for fundamental

Time Traveler

The first known use of fundamental was in the 15th century

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Statistics for fundamental

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fundamental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fundamental. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for fundamental

fundamental

adjective
How to pronounce fundamental (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fundamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: forming or relating to the most important part of something
: of or relating to the basic structure or function of something

fundamental

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fundamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of the basic and important parts of something : a fundamental part

fundamental

adjective
fun·​da·​men·​tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce fundamental (audio) \

Kids Definition of fundamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being or forming a foundation : basic, essential The discovery was fundamental to science. our fundamental rights

Other Words from fundamental

fundamentally adverb

fundamental

noun

Kids Definition of fundamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a basic part the fundamentals of arithmetic

fundamental

noun
fun·​da·​men·​tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈment-ᵊl How to pronounce fundamental (audio) \

Medical Definition of fundamental

: the principal musical tone produced by vibration (as of a string or column of air) on which a series of higher overtones is based

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