Synonyms & Antonyms of fundamental

(Entry 1 of 2)

of or relating to the simplest facts or theories of a subject
  • the purpose of the course is to furnish students with fundamental knowledge of human reproduction

Synonyms for fundamental

Words Related to fundamental

Near Antonyms for fundamental

Antonyms for fundamental



Synonyms & Antonyms of fundamental (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About fundamental

How is the word fundamental different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of fundamental are cardinal, essential, and vital. While all these words mean "so important as to be indispensable," fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse.

fundamental principles of algebra

When might cardinal be a better fit than fundamental?

The words cardinal and fundamental can be used in similar contexts, but cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends.

a cardinal rule in buying a home

When would essential be a good substitute for fundamental?

Although the words essential and fundamental have much in common, essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character.

conflict is essential in drama

When could vital be used to replace fundamental?

The words vital and fundamental are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation.

cut off from vital supplies

Learn More About fundamental

Time Traveler for fundamental

Time Traveler

The first known use of fundamental was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near fundamental




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Fundamental.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on fundamental

Nglish: Translation of fundamental for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fundamental for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fundamental


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!