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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Defenders of the system have argued that knowledge of genetics and infant development back then was rudimentary, and that these choices were made with the best of intentions. New York Times, "Adoption Used to Be Hush-Hush. This Book Amplifies the Human Toll.," 22 Jan. 2021 Take even the most rudimentary lessons that were lost on this president. Jay Cost, Washington Examiner, "Swamped," 21 Jan. 2021 In most areas of the country, contact tracing is still rudimentary. Zeke Miller, Star Tribune, "Plunged into virus 'dark winter,' Biden must lead US out," 19 Jan. 2021 Locro derives from quarco, a rudimentary stew of the indigenous Andean people. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Porotos Ganados, Moqueca Bahaina, Carapulcra and more: Stews full of comfort from South America," 14 Jan. 2021 Part of that is because most programming languages have very rudimentary timekeeping, and that, in turn, is based on primitive clock hardware inside the computers themselves. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why Scientists Want to Shorten the Minute to 59 Seconds," 11 Jan. 2021 Yet few Americans hit the age of majority with more than a rudimentary understanding of their finances, and the country’s banks are poorly regulated. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Why Is There Financing for Everything Now?," 21 Dec. 2020 Two lower, shorter test flights earlier this year from Boca Chica, Texas — a quiet coastal village before SpaceX moved in — used more rudimentary versions of Starship. Fox News, "SpaceX launches Starship on highest test flight, turns into massive fireball," 10 Dec. 2020 The front end features lots of black trim and rudimentary placeholder headlights, taillights, and turn signals that look decidedly less high-tech than the LED units that will eventually make their way onto the production truck. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "GMC Hummer EV Closer to Reality as Prototype Shown Testing," 8 Dec. 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

6 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rudimentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for rudimentary



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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