ru·​di·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌrü-də-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē \

Definition of rudimentary

1 : consisting in first principles : fundamental had only a rudimentary formal education— D. J. Boorstin
2 : of a primitive kind the equipment of these past empire-builders was rudimentary— A. J. Toynbee
3 : very imperfectly developed or represented only by a vestige the rudimentary tail of a hyrax

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rudimentary

rudimentarily \ ˌrü-​də-​ˌmen-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trə-​lē \ adverb
rudimentariness \ ˌrü-​də-​ˈmen-​tə-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) , -​ˈmen-​trē-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rudimentary



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of rudimentary in a Sentence

Because now, every schlemiel with a pair of mirrored sunglasses and a rudimentary grasp of the rules of poker thinks he can play cards with the pros. — A. J. Jacobs, New York Times Book Review, 8 May 2005 Despite the rudimentary nature of its instruments—an octant, a chronometer and a level—the Lewis and Clark Expedition was a triumph for science and natural history. — Daniel J. Boorstin, U.S. News & World Report, 11 July 1994 A few were hopeless imbeciles, unable to comprehend more than the rudimentary requirements of filling their bellies when food was placed before them … — Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Monster Men, 1929 This class requires a rudimentary knowledge of human anatomy. When baseball was in its rudimentary stages, different teams played by different rules. Some insects have only rudimentary wings.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The team’s methods now seem painstaking and rudimentary: testing air to see how much moisture condensed out of it, and using those measurements to extrapolate the likelihood of future rain. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 5 Oct. 2021 Unlike a plane’s black box, the one on a ship is far more rudimentary, recording more limited data, and may not provide enough information to parse precisely what went wrong, said Capt., 18 July 2021 Artificial Intelligence platforms today use digital representations and math to create a rudimentary simulation of how a brain works. Karl Freund, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 But most police departments offer officers little, if any, training on how to interact with people who are deaf and fewer officers know even rudimentary sign language, the advocates said. NBC News, 28 Sep. 2021 Scientists are puzzling over why nature has gifted so many animals with at least a rudimentary knack for numbers, and what if anything that might tell us about the deep origins of human mathematics. Jordana Cepelewicz, Wired, 15 Aug. 2021 David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), doesn’t possess a rudimentary understanding of the Second Amendment — which, considering this job, seems like a problem. David Harsanyi, National Review, 8 Apr. 2021 Many websites make rudimentary efforts to improve accessibility, but their efforts fail in the face of complicated site navigation, which is one reason blind people file accessibility lawsuits. Ran Ronen, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 Roman faced criticism from several prominent analysts who said his passing concepts were too rudimentary to free up the team’s wide receivers. Childs Walker,, 8 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rudimentary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rudimentary

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rudimentary

see rudiment

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About rudimentary

Time Traveler for rudimentary

Time Traveler

The first known use of rudimentary was in 1619

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near rudimentary




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rudimentary

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rudimentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rudimentary



English Language Learners Definition of rudimentary

: basic or simple
: not very developed or advanced


ru·​di·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌrüd-ə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) \

Kids Definition of rudimentary

1 : elementary, simple He has only rudimentary knowledge of math.
2 : not fully developed rudimentary wings


ru·​di·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌrüd-ə-ˈment-ə-rē, -ˈmen-trē How to pronounce rudimentary (audio) \

Medical Definition of rudimentary

: very imperfectly developed or represented only by a vestige

More from Merriam-Webster on rudimentary

Nglish: Translation of rudimentary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rudimentary for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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