fundamental

adjective
fun·​da·​men·​tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce fundamental (audio) \

Essential Meaning of fundamental

1 : forming or relating to the most important part of something : basic The Constitution ensures our fundamental rights. There's a fundamental difference between these two political parties. a fundamental truth/concept/belief
2 : of or relating to the basic structure or function of something These ideas are of fundamental importance. The revolution brought about a fundamental change in the country. See More ExamplesWe need to make some fundamental changes in the way we do business. We need to address these problems on a more fundamental level.Hide

Full Definition of fundamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function : basic Responsibility is fundamental to democracy. The Constitution ensures our fundamental rights.
b : serving as an original or generating source : primary a discovery fundamental to modern computers
2a : of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts : radical fundamental change also : of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application fundamental science
b : adhering to fundamentalism a preacher who is evangelical, Bible-teaching, and fundamental
3 : of central importance : principal fundamental purpose such fundamental events as birth, marriage, and death
4 : belonging to one's innate or ingrained characteristics : deep-rooted her fundamental good humor
5 : of, relating to, or produced by the lowest component of a complex vibration (see vibration sense 1)

fundamental

noun

Definition of fundamental (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something fundamental especially : one of the minimum constituents without which a thing or a system would not be what it is
2a : the principal musical tone produced by vibration (as of a string or column of air) on which a series of higher harmonics is based
b : the root of a chord
3 : the harmonic component of a complex wave that has the lowest frequency and commonly the greatest amplitude

Choose the Right Synonym for fundamental

Adjective

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. 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 fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse. fundamental principles of algebra vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation. cut off from vital supplies cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends. a cardinal rule in buying a home

Examples of fundamental in a Sentence

Adjective The Constitution ensures our fundamental rights. There's a fundamental difference between these two political parties. These ideas are of fundamental importance. The revolution brought about a fundamental change in the country. We need to make some fundamental changes in the way we do business. We need to address these problems on a more fundamental level.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But what happens when the AI encounters a fundamental change, like the onset of Covid-19? Casey Ross And Katie Palmer, STAT, 25 Nov. 2021 Like other shelters, Clare House provides fundamental services to people in need. Conocophillips Alaska, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Nov. 2021 Monroe was the fifth president, and his name is carried by the Monroe Doctrine, long known as a fundamental principle of American foreign policy. Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2021 The use of the Cultural Revolution to characterize the state of free speech on American campuses reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of Chinese history and American society. Yangyang Cheng, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 It was believed that there existed just a handful of receptor types, each corresponding with some fundamental odor quality; different smells were caused by the activation of these receptors at different levels and in different combinations. Scott Sayare, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 But a fundamental problem is that biocontainment facilities have discrete approaches to safety and risk assessment — and to transparency. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 But investors might gain more by watching an old real-estate fundamental: construction. Compare London and New York. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2021 But domestic violence survivors, advocates and even some in law enforcement describe a fundamental flaw in the system: An abuser who violates a restraining order rarely faces consequences. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The short-yardage problems were more muscle-mass fundamental. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, 6 Nov. 2021 Together, the advances span the fundamental to the applied. Chad Mirkin, Scientific American, 9 Oct. 2021 The program teaches students the fundamental of electricity as well as the math and sciences needed to work on power lines. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 6 Apr. 2021 This has always been a timeless fundamental of marketing, but so much more evident now. Sarah Hofstetter, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 Called Fleming's Left Hand Rule, this fundamental of electromagnetism states that the confluence of a magnetic field and an electric current passing through a fluid will cause the fluid to be propelled in one direction. Abe Dane, Popular Mechanics, 14 Jan. 2021 For a company of its size, that kind of a move is less a reflection of business fundamentals,... Laura Forman, WSJ, 26 May 2020 Investors should consider making pair trades, buying the cheaper and shorting the dearer of two materials that are linked to the same economic fundamentals, the strategists wrote. Gregor Stuart Hunter, Bloomberg.com, 12 May 2020 When at its best, Golden State expertly exhibits the fundamentals of the game, pulling from the Harlem Globetrotters and Hickory High for an up-tempo style all its own. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, 26 Apr. 2020

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Noun

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fundamental

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Late Latin fundāmentālis "serving as a foundation," from Latin fundāmentum "foundation, basis" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at fundament

Noun

derivative of fundamental entry 1

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Time Traveler for fundamental

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fundamental

fundament

fundamental

fundamental bass

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Statistics for fundamental

Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fundamental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fundamental. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for fundamental

fundamental

adjective
fun·​da·​men·​tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce fundamental (audio) \

Kids Definition of fundamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being or forming a foundation : basic, essential The discovery was fundamental to science. our fundamental rights

Other Words from fundamental

fundamentally adverb

fundamental

noun

Kids Definition of fundamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a basic part the fundamentals of arithmetic

fundamental

noun
fun·​da·​men·​tal | \ ˌfən-də-ˈment-ᵊl How to pronounce fundamental (audio) \

Medical Definition of fundamental

: the principal musical tone produced by vibration (as of a string or column of air) on which a series of higher overtones is based

More from Merriam-Webster on fundamental

Nglish: Translation of fundamental for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fundamental for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fundamental

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