Synonyms & Antonyms of element

1 one of the parts that make up a whole
  • a free press is an essential element of a democracy

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2 elements plural general or basic truths on which other truths or theories can be based
  • the elements of mathematics can be traced back to Euclid

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3 a region of activity, knowledge, or influence
  • she felt a bit out of her element in the mathematics section of the exam

Synonyms for element

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Frequently Asked Questions About element

How is the word element distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of element are component, constituent, and ingredient. While all these words mean "one of the parts of a compound or complex whole," element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity.

the basic elements of geometry

How are the words component and constituent related as synonyms of element?

Both component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character.

the components of a stereo system

Where would constituent be a reasonable alternative to element?

The synonyms constituent and element are sometimes interchangeable, but constituent stresses its essential and formative character.

the constituents of a chemical compound

When is it sensible to use ingredient instead of element?

The words ingredient and element can be used in similar contexts, but ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture.

the ingredients of a cocktail

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Time Traveler for element

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Element.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on element

Nglish: Translation of element for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of element for Arabic Speakers


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