fundamental

adjective
fun·da·men·tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tᵊl \

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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Other words from fundamental

Adjective

fundamentally \ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tᵊl-ē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for fundamental

Synonyms: Adjective

basal, basic, beginning, elemental, elementary, essential, introductory, rudimentary, underlying

Antonyms: Adjective

advanced

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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

The losing mentality that infects the clubhouse has recently become obvious by a series of fundamental lapses and defensive breakdowns that almost never showed up during the first five years of the Dan Duquette-Buck Showalter competitive revival. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: During season on the brink, Orioles are losing the head games, too," 14 July 2018 Three decades later, his competitive drive still burns brightly but his fundamental understanding of his place in the coaching universe is different. Matt Le Cren, chicagotribune.com, "Welcome to the hall: Naperville Central coach Ed Watson looks back on stellar 26-year career in girls soccer," 13 July 2018 Introduced during the heyday of the workhorse running back, PPR set out to even the playing field for wide receivers by awarding them with points for performing their position’s fundamental act: catching the football. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football Players Who are More Valuable in PPR Leagues," 12 July 2018 Well, here’s the decomposition of the fundamental archetype. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 Serena still lacks fundamental empathy for her fellow women. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Recap Season 2, Episode 13: The Martha Express," 11 July 2018 But the California Coastal Commission stepped in and voided the entire gate operation, citing the state’s landmark Coastal Act, which declares that access to the beach is a fundamental right guaranteed to everyone. Rosanna Xia, latimes.com, "Santa Cruz neighborhood rejects state orders to open beach for free," 11 July 2018 Navigation is one of the most fundamental elements of planning and executing a successful outdoor trip. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "The Best Map Apps for Navigating the Wilderness," 5 July 2018 Climbing the Learning Curve Foremost among those challenges is the need to fill in gaping holes in our knowledge of life’s fundamental limitations. Leonard David, Scientific American, "As Space Becomes a Busy Place, NASA Bolsters Its Planet-Contamination Police," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There is an urgent scientific effort underway to solve the mystery of Alzheimer’s, but many are still unclear on its fundamentals. Denise C. Park, sandiegouniontribune.com, "5 myths about Alzheimer's disease," 18 June 2018 The league will teach the fundamentals of football without tackling or blocking, and some games will be held under the lights on one of the park district’s synthetic turf fields. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 29 June 2018 Many of them have applied inventive, do-it-yourself technologies to the fundamentals of photography. Susan Delson, WSJ, "In Denver, Landscapes Soaked, Digitized and Irradiated," 8 June 2018 When a district-wide elementary science teacher was cut, both Paul Rotatori and Rob Kent were concerned students wouldn’t be as exposed to kid-friendly fundamentals. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "Munster science program for elementary students run by parents expands," 1 June 2018 Camps are designed for children ages 5-13 and will introduce them to the fundamentals of the sport. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Registration opens for Cross Creek Ranch summer camps," 28 May 2018 Instead, coach Paul Eckert preached getting back to the game’s simplest of fundamentals: throwing and catching. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Marriotts Ridge baseball rides solid pitching, clean defense to win over River Hill," 21 Apr. 2018 Bredeson says Warinner has taught the linemen new techniques, new styles of play and tweaks to fundamentals. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Ben Bredeson 'sick of hearing' about offensive line woes," 3 Apr. 2018 The question now is what happens to economic and political fundamentals in the coming months. Eric R.a.n. Smith, Washington Post, "Early election forecast: Republicans could lose 38 seats and House majority," 10 Jan. 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for fundamental

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

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More Definitions for fundamental

fundamental

adjective

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 \

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 \

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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