ru·​di·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌrü-də-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē \

Definition of rudimentary

1 : consisting in first principles : fundamental had only a rudimentary formal education— D. J. Boorstin
2 : of a primitive kind the equipment of these past empire-builders was rudimentary— A. J. Toynbee
3 : very imperfectly developed or represented only by a vestige the rudimentary tail of a hyrax

Other Words from rudimentary

rudimentarily \ ˌrü-​də-​ˌmen-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trə-​lē \ adverb
rudimentariness \ ˌrü-​də-​ˈmen-​tə-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trē-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rudimentary



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Examples of rudimentary in a Sentence

Because now, every schlemiel with a pair of mirrored sunglasses and a rudimentary grasp of the rules of poker thinks he can play cards with the pros. — A. J. Jacobs, New York Times Book Review, 8 May 2005 Despite the rudimentary nature of its instruments—an octant, a chronometer and a level—the Lewis and Clark Expedition was a triumph for science and natural history. — Daniel J. Boorstin, U.S. News & World Report, 11 July 1994 A few were hopeless imbeciles, unable to comprehend more than the rudimentary requirements of filling their bellies when food was placed before them … — Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Monster Men, 1929 This class requires a rudimentary knowledge of human anatomy. When baseball was in its rudimentary stages, different teams played by different rules. Some insects have only rudimentary wings. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Has the market for rudimentary pixelated cartoon heads already peaked? Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 9 May 2022 For one, his rudimentary English skills and subsequent low SAT scores prevented him from making the jump straight to Division I. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2022 Lean startups take a rudimentary product and rapidly test it on prospective clients. Yec, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The landscape is dotted by a miles-long string of rudimentary military posts tucked into the rolling hills of the Donbas region. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2022 But autocomplete is only the most rudimentary expression of what software like GPT-3 is capable of. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2022 This is rudimentary reconnaissance warfare for 2022, but helpful for the country’s defense effort. The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 At certain computing divisions across the country, mechanical calculators and rudimentary computing machines were brought in to accelerate calculations needed for the war. Katie Hafner, Scientific American, 7 Apr. 2022 My rudimentary keyboard playing wasn’t going to stand up too far. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of rudimentary

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rudimentary

see rudiment

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The first known use of rudimentary was in 1619

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rudimentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rudimentary


ru·​di·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌrüd-ə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) \

Kids Definition of rudimentary

1 : elementary, simple He has only rudimentary knowledge of math.
2 : not fully developed rudimentary wings


ru·​di·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌrüd-ə-ˈment-ə-rē, -ˈmen-trē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) \

Medical Definition of rudimentary

: very imperfectly developed or represented only by a vestige

More from Merriam-Webster on rudimentary

Nglish: Translation of rudimentary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rudimentary for Arabic Speakers


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