simple

adjective
sim·​ple | \ ˈsim-pəl How to pronounce simple (audio) \
simpler\ ˈsim-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce simpler (audio) \; simplest\ ˈsim-​p(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce simplest (audio) \

Definition of simple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : free from guile : innocent
2a : free from vanity : modest
b : free from ostentation or display a simple outfit
3 : of humble origin or modest position a simple farmer
4a : lacking in knowledge or expertise a simple amateur of the arts
b : lacking in intelligence : stupid
c : not socially or culturally sophisticated : naive also : credulous
5a : sheer, unmixed simple honesty
b : free of secondary complications a simple vitamin deficiency
c(1) : having only one main clause and no subordinate clauses a simple sentence
(2) of a subject or predicate : having no modifiers, complements, or objects
d : constituting a basic element : fundamental
e : not made up of many like units a simple eye
6 : free from elaboration or figuration simple harmony
7a(1) : not subdivided into branches or leaflets a simple stem a simple leaf
(2) : consisting of a single carpel
(3) : developing from a single ovary a simple fruit
b : controlled by a single gene simple inherited characters
8 : not limited or restricted : unconditional a simple obligation
9 : readily understood or performed simple directions the adjustment was simple to make
10 of a statistical hypothesis : specifying exact values for one or more statistical parameters — compare composite sense 3

simple

noun

Definition of simple (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a person of humble birth : commoner thought very little of anybody, simples or gentry— Virginia Woolf
b(1) : a rude or credulous person : ignoramus
(2) : simpleton
2a : a medicinal plant
b : a vegetable drug having only one ingredient
3 : one component of a complex specifically : an unanalyzable constituent

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Other Words from simple

Adjective

simpleness \ ˈsim-​pəl-​nəs How to pronounce simpleness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for simple

Adjective

simple, foolish, silly, fatuous, asinine mean actually or apparently deficient in intelligence. simple implies a degree of intelligence inadequate to cope with anything complex or involving mental effort. considered people simple who had trouble with computers foolish implies the character of being or seeming unable to use judgment, discretion, or good sense. foolish stunts silly suggests failure to act as a rational being especially by ridiculous behavior. the silly antics of revelers fatuous implies foolishness, inanity, and disregard of reality. fatuous conspiracy theories asinine suggests utter and contemptible failure to use normal rationality or perception. an asinine plot

synonyms see in addition easy

Examples of simple in a Sentence

Adjective The solution to the problem was relatively simple. The answer is really quite simple. There are three simple steps to follow. The camera is simple to use. Don't go into too much detail in the report. Just keep it simple and to the point. The melody is very simple. I'm a simple farmer just trying to make a living. He enjoys the simple pleasure of spending time with his wife and kids after work. Relaxing on the beach and watching the sunset is one of life's simple pleasures.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Logistically, laying fiber under the city is relatively simple. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can San Francisco realize the dream of public internet?," 9 Aug. 2020 But, Jain says, the process for turning this specific kind of plastic into biofuel is well established and relatively simple. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Your Face Mask in the Garbage Could Make a Great Biofuel," 5 Aug. 2020 But if the risks of reopening schools were based only on the symptoms experienced by children, then the evaluation would be relatively simple. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "More data, but still confusion over how much children spread SARS-CoV-2," 3 Aug. 2020 The scenario is relatively simple: Plant malware on multiple networks that affect voter registration databases and activate it just before an election. Eric Tucker, Star Tribune, "Ransomware feared as possible saboteur for November election," 2 Aug. 2020 Aside from often being the only POC in class, Nair, who trained in yoga at India’s S-VYASA University, taught in a simple way that didn’t always resonate with students. Raksha Vasudevan, Outside Online, "This Yoga Co-Op Is Diversifying Teacher Training," 31 July 2020 BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder has also developed a relatively simple test that only requires the patient to spit in a small tube and produces a result in about 45 minutes. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "'A recipe for disaster': FDA standards could slow production of fast in-home coronavirus tests," 30 July 2020 The Giving Pledge was created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2014, and the concept is relatively simple. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "MacKenzie Scott Has Pledged to Donate Half Her Net Worth to Charity," 29 July 2020 The ball fell to home in a inside the 18-yard box off a deflection, leaving him with a relatively simple finish. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "MLS Is Back tourney launch features Orlando City win, Black Players for Change demonstration," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For a sandwich this simple, there is one very important rule. Meredith Deeds Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "For the perfect BLT, head to the farmers market for ingredients," 29 July 2020 The tailgate incorporates a few simple, work-friendly changes. cleveland, "2021 Ford F-150 features and tech aim to delight owners and stump the competition," 4 July 2020 Try this simple, but very complex nail look by @revlon. Emy Rodriguez Flores, Redbook, "15 Beauty Looks to Wear For New Year's Eve," 9 Dec. 2019 The tailgate incorporates a few simple, work-friendly changes. cleveland, "2021 Ford F-150 features and tech aim to delight owners and stump the competition," 4 July 2020 The tailgate incorporates a few simple, work-friendly changes. cleveland, "2021 Ford F-150 features and tech aim to delight owners and stump the competition," 4 July 2020 Put your leaves in this simple, BPA-free container, and then pour the hot water in. Popular Science, "Tea-drinking accessories for a more perfect cup," 11 Oct. 2019 The tailgate incorporates a few simple, work-friendly changes. cleveland, "2021 Ford F-150 features and tech aim to delight owners and stump the competition," 4 July 2020 The tailgate incorporates a few simple, work-friendly changes. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2021 Ford F-150 features and tech aim to delight owners and stump the competition," 26 June 2020

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

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for simple

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin simplus, alteration of Latin simplic-, simplex single, having one ingredient, plain, from sem-, sim- one + -plic-, -plex -fold — more at same, -fold

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Time Traveler for simple

Time Traveler

The first known use of simple was in the 13th century

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Statistics for simple

Last Updated

12 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Simple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/simple. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for simple

simple

adjective
How to pronounce simple (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of simple

: not hard to understand or do
: having few parts : not complex or fancy
: not special or unusual

simple

adjective
sim·​ple | \ ˈsim-pəl How to pronounce simple (audio) \
simpler; simplest

Kids Definition of simple

1 : not hard to understand or solve a simple task
2 : easy entry 1 sense 1, straightforward a simple explanation
3 : lacking in education, experience, or intelligence The queen was really a simple soul and always … had done nothing except state the overly obvious.— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
4 : not complex or fancy She wore simple clothing.
6 : not rich or important simple folk
7 : without qualification : sheer the simple truth

simple

adjective
sim·​ple | \ ˈsim-pəl How to pronounce simple (audio) \
simpler\ -​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce simpler (audio) \; simplest\ -​p(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce simplest (audio) \

Medical Definition of simple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : free from complexity or difficulty: as
a : easily treated or cured a simple vitamin deficiency
b : controlled by a single gene simple inherited characters
2 : of, relating to, or being an epithelium in which the cells are arranged in a single layer

simple

noun

Medical Definition of simple (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a medicinal plant
2 : a vegetable drug having only one ingredient

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simple

adjective
sim·​ple

Legal Definition of simple

1 : oral or written but not under seal or of record
2 : not extreme, aggravated, or complicated simple kidnapping
3 : having no limitations or restrictions — see also fee simple

Other Words from simple

simply adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on simple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for simple

Spanish Central: Translation of simple

Nglish: Translation of simple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of simple for Arabic Speakers

Comments on simple

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