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

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Other Words from rudimentary

rudimentarily \ ˌrü-​də-​ˌmen-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce rudimentarily (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trə-​lē \ adverb
rudimentariness \ ˌrü-​də-​ˈmen-​tə-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce rudimentariness (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 It appears as if the posterior molar or wisdom-teeth were tending to become rudimentary in the more civilised races of man. — Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web While Clementi stands out among other villagers with his blue collared shirt, Guess jeans and polished black shoes, the operation in his small stone house lacking electricity is rudimentary. Loni Prinsloo And Janice Kew/ Bloomberg, Time, "One of the Poorest Countries in Africa Wants to Send Its Legal Marijuana All Over the World," 19 Dec. 2019 The city of Birmingham paid $70,000 for new lights at Legion Field, the better to illuminate the action for then-rudimentary color television broadcasts. Creg Stephenson |, al, "‘Dang, we’re behind again?’: Scott Hunter, Archie Manning recall their 1969 shootout," 25 Sep. 2019 But surely that dynamic cannot apply to rudimentary linguistic building blocks such as pronouns. Josh Hammer, National Review, "The Fifth Circuit Rejects the Lie of Transgender Pronouns," 27 Jan. 2020 As glorified home movies go, this one had a huge crew (as the end credits testify), and part of this involved stunt people of a rather rudimentary kind. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Dick Johnson Is Dead': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 26 Jan. 2020 Homeowners were allowed to return to make rudimentary repairs and collect valuables, Houston television station KHOU reported. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Residents pick up pieces; lawyers flood area after Houston explosion," 25 Jan. 2020 Computers normally come stocked with rudimentary word processing and text editing software, such as WordPad and Notepad on Windows. Popular Science, "Two alternatives to Microsoft Word that are free and customizable," 21 Jan. 2020 This night of arts and crafts for adults finds talented artists creating intricate designs on their pumpkins, while others work on more rudimentary jack-o’-lanterns. Washington Post, "17 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 28 Oct. 2019 There are some rudimentary hearing tests available online. oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Daughter who compares holiday giving is barking up the wrong Christmas tree," 14 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of rudimentary

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rudimentary

see rudiment

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Time Traveler for rudimentary

Time Traveler

The first known use of rudimentary was in 1619

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Statistics for rudimentary

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rudimentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rudimentary


How to pronounce rudimentary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rudimentary

: basic or simple
: not very developed or advanced


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

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