el·​e·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē \

Definition of elementary

1a : of, relating to, or dealing with the simplest elements or principles of something
b : of or relating to an elementary school

Other Words from elementary

elementarily \ ˌe-​lə-​ˌmen-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trə-​lē \ adverb
elementariness \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈmen-​tə-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trē-​ \ noun

Examples of elementary in a Sentence

He is lacking even the most elementary notions of fairness. The researchers made an elementary error. He has an elementary understanding of calculus.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Navy's water system serves some 93,000 people in residential homes, offices, elementary schools and businesses in and around Pearl Harbor. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher And Audrey Mcavoy, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2022 The Springdale School District announced Thursday that Turnbow and Hunt elementary schools will transition to remote learning Friday as well. Nwa Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 13 Jan. 2022 Also, partnerships with reading buddies at elementary schools and playgroups at senior centers have had to be canceled. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Jan. 2022 The program will launch in early-childhood education programs and elementary schools, with smaller pilots in some middle and high schools. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 All four of the district’s elementary schools, as well as the middle and high schools, closed Monday. oregonlive, 10 Jan. 2022 The school system announced a proposal in November to close three elementary schools with low enrollments in summer 2022 and a high school in 2023. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, 10 Jan. 2022 In-person learning also would be suspended at elementary schools if more than 30% of students are isolating in more than 30% of homerooms. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, 9 Jan. 2022 If all goes as planned, five elementary schools — Albert Bushnell Hart, Louis Agassiz, Luis Muñoz Marín, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry — will have new names by the 2022-23 school year. NBC News, 7 Jan. 2022

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

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

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Time Traveler for elementary

Time Traveler

The first known use of elementary was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near elementary



elementary algebra

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Statistics for elementary

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elementary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elementary. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for elementary



English Language Learners Definition of elementary

: basic and simple : involving the simplest parts of a subject
: of or relating to elementary school


el·​e·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌe-lə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce elementary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē \

Kids Definition of elementary

1 : relating to the beginnings or simplest principles of a subject elementary arithmetic
2 : relating to or teaching the basic subjects of education elementary school

More from Merriam-Webster on elementary

Nglish: Translation of elementary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elementary for Arabic Speakers


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