What does element mean?

Definitions for element
ˈɛl ə məntel·e·ment

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word element.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. component, constituent, element, factor, ingredientnoun

    an abstract part of something

    "jealousy was a component of his character"; "two constituents of a musical composition are melody and harmony"; "the grammatical elements of a sentence"; "a key factor in her success"; "humor: an effective ingredient of a speech"

  2. component, constituent, elementnoun

    an artifact that is one of the individual parts of which a composite entity is made up; especially a part that can be separated from or attached to a system

    "spare components for cars"; "a component or constituent element of a system"

  3. chemical element, elementnoun

    any of the more than 100 known substances (of which 92 occur naturally) that cannot be separated into simpler substances and that singly or in combination constitute all matter

  4. elementnoun

    the most favorable environment for a plant or animal

    "water is the element of fishes"

  5. elementnoun

    one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the physical universe

    "the alchemists believed that there were four elements"

  6. elementnoun

    the situation in which you are happiest and most effective

    "in your element"

  7. elementnoun

    a straight line that generates a cylinder or cone


  1. elementnoun

    One of the simplest or essential parts or principles of which anything consists, or upon which the constitution or fundamental powers of anything are based.

  2. elementnoun

    Any one of the simplest chemical substances that cannot be decomposed in a chemical reaction or by any chemical means and made up of atoms all having the same number of protons.

  3. elementnoun

    One of the four basic building blocks of matter in theories of ancient philosophers and alchemists: water, earth, fire, and air

  4. elementnoun

    Something small.

    an element of doubt

  5. elementnoun

    Atmospheric forces such as strong winds and rains.

  6. elementnoun

    A place or state of being that an individual or object is better suited towards.

    be in one's own element

  7. elementnoun

    A required aspect or component of a cause of action. A deed is regarded a violation of law only if each element can be proved.

  8. elementnoun

    One of the objects in a set.

  9. elementnoun

    A group of people within a larger group having a particular common characteristic.

    You sometimes find the hooligan element at football matches.

  10. elementnoun

    A short form of heating element, a component in electrical equipment, often in the form of a coil, having a high resistance, thereby generating heat when a current is passed through it.

    The element in this electric kettle can heat the water in under a minute.

  11. elementnoun

    One of the conceptual objects in a markup language, usually represented in text by a matching pair of tags.

  12. Etymology: From element, from element, from elementum; origin uncertain. Perhaps ultimately from lmn, first three letters of the second half of the Canaanite alphabet, recited by ancient scribes when learning it

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ELEMENTnoun

    Etymology: elementum, Latin.

    If nature should intermit her course, those principal and mother elements of the world, whereof all things in this lower world are made, should lose the qualities which now they have. Richard Hooker, b. i. s. 3.

    A man may rationally retain doubts concerning the number of those ingredients of bodies, which some call elements, and others principles. Robert Boyle, Phys. Consider.

    Simple substances are either spirits, which have no manner of composition, or the first principles of bodies, usually called elements, of which other bodies are compounded. Isaac Watts.

    The king is but a man: the violet smells to him as it doth to me; and the element shews to him as it doth to me. William Shakespeare.

    My dearest sister, fare thee well;
    The elements be kind to thee, and make
    Thy spirits all of comfort. William Shakespeare, Anth. and Cleopatra.

    The king,
    Contending with the fretful elements,
    Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
    Or swell the curled waters. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    The heavens and the earth will pass away, and the elements melt with fervent heat. Peter.

    Here be four of you were able to make a good world; for you are as differing as the four elements. Francis Bacon, Hol. War.

    He from his flaming ship his children sent,
    To perish in a milder element. Edmund Waller.

    We are simple men; we do not know she works by charms, by spells, and such dawbry as is beyond our element. William Shakespeare.

    Our torments may, in length of time,
    Became our elements. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ii. l. 275.

    They shew that they are out of their element, and that logick is none of their talent. Thomas Baker, Reflections on Learning.

    Who set the body and the limbs
    Of this great sport together, as you guess?
    ———— One sure that promises no element
    In such a business. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    With religion it fareth as with other sciences; the first delivery of the elements thereof must, for like consideration, be framed according to the weak and slender capacity of young beginners. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 18.

    Every parish should keep a petty schoolmaster, which should bring up children in the first elements of letters. Edmund Spenser, on Irel.

    We, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Gal. iv. 3.

    There is nothing more pernicious to a youth, in the elements of painting, than an ignorant master. John Dryden, Dufresn.

  2. To Elementverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Whether any one such body be met with, in those said to be elemented bodies, I now question. Robert Boyle, Scept. Chym.

    Dull sublunary lover’s love,
    Whose soul is sense, cannot admit
    Of absence, ’cause it doth remove
    The thing which elemented it. John Donne.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Elementnoun

    one of the simplest or essential parts or principles of which anything consists, or upon which the constitution or fundamental powers of anything are based

  2. Elementnoun

    one of the ultimate, undecomposable constituents of any kind of matter. Specifically: (Chem.) A substance which cannot be decomposed into different kinds of matter by any means at present employed; as, the elements of water are oxygen and hydrogen

  3. Elementnoun

    one of the ultimate parts which are variously combined in anything; as, letters are the elements of written language; hence, also, a simple portion of that which is complex, as a shaft, lever, wheel, or any simple part in a machine; one of the essential ingredients of any mixture; a constituent part; as, quartz, feldspar, and mica are the elements of granite

  4. Elementnoun

    one out of several parts combined in a system of aggregation, when each is of the nature of the whole; as, a single cell is an element of the honeycomb

  5. Elementnoun

    one of the smallest natural divisions of the organism, as a blood corpuscle, a muscular fiber

  6. Elementnoun

    one of the simplest essential parts, more commonly called cells, of which animal and vegetable organisms, or their tissues and organs, are composed

  7. Elementnoun

    an infinitesimal part of anything of the same nature as the entire magnitude considered; as, in a solid an element may be the infinitesimal portion between any two planes that are separated an indefinitely small distance. In the calculus, element is sometimes used as synonymous with differential

  8. Elementnoun

    sometimes a curve, or surface, or volume is considered as described by a moving point, or curve, or surface, the latter being at any instant called an element of the former

  9. Elementnoun

    one of the terms in an algebraic expression

  10. Elementnoun

    one of the necessary data or values upon which a system of calculations depends, or general conclusions are based; as, the elements of a planet's orbit

  11. Elementnoun

    the simplest or fundamental principles of any system in philosophy, science, or art; rudiments; as, the elements of geometry, or of music

  12. Elementnoun

    any outline or sketch, regarded as containing the fundamental ideas or features of the thing in question; as, the elements of a plan

  13. Elementnoun

    one of the simple substances, as supposed by the ancient philosophers; one of the imaginary principles of matter

  14. Elementnoun

    the four elements were, air, earth, water, and fire

  15. Elementnoun

    the conditions and movements of the air

  16. Elementnoun

    the elements of the alchemists were salt, sulphur, and mercury

  17. Elementnoun

    the whole material composing the world

  18. Elementnoun

    the bread and wine used in the eucharist or Lord's supper

  19. Elementverb

    to compound of elements or first principles

  20. Elementverb

    to constitute; to make up with elements

  21. Etymology: [F. lment, L. elementum.]


  1. Element

    In mathematics, an element, or member, of a set is any one of the distinct objects that make up that set.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Element

    el′e-ment, n. a first principle: one of the essential parts of anything: an ingredient: the proper state or sphere of any thing or being: (pl.) the rudiments of learning: the bread and wine used in the Eucharist: fire, air, earth, and water, supposed by the ancients to be the foundation of everything: (chem.) the simplest known constituents of all compound substances: (astron.) those numerical quantities, and those principles deduced from astronomical observations and calculations, which are employed in the construction of tables exhibiting the planetary motions.—adj. Element′al, pertaining to elements or first principles: fundamental: belonging to or produced by elements.—n. Element′alism, the theory which resolves the divinities of antiquity into the elemental powers.—adv. Element′ally.—adj. Element′ary, of a single element: primary: uncompounded: pertaining to the elements: treating of first principles.—Elemental spirits, beings in medieval belief who presided over the four 'elements,' living in and ruling them. [Fr.,—L. elementum, pl. elementà, first principles.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. element

    An organization formed around a specific function within a designated directorate of a joint force commander

Editors Contribution

  1. element

    A specific function or use.

    Each element of the business plan was reviewed to ensure it was accurate.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 7, 2020  

  2. element

    Is a type of matter.

    There are 118 elements that have been identified, of which the first 94 occur naturally on Earth with the remaining 24 being synthetic elements known at this moment in time., joyfully many more to be discovered as Science and technology evolves.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 25, 2015  

Suggested Resources

  1. element

    Song lyrics by element -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by element on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'element' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1908

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'element' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1740

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'element' in Nouns Frequency: #369

How to pronounce element?

How to say element in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of element in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of element in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of element in a Sentence

  1. Prince William:

    There’s always that family part of Christmas [ where ] there’s always that work element there as well, and I think together Meghan Markle had an amazing time, meghan Markle had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running round with the kids. Christmas was fantastic.

  2. Brian Deese:

    On both taxes and level of public investment, we are returning to levels( and) structures reflected in past periods of progress, the element that is more transformational is the focus on doing public investment in a way that supports everyone.

  3. Peter Baker:

    He was a person who had been fierce in his criticism of Putin. He'd clearly gotten under Putin's skin on a number of occasions. A number of people had become his enemies, there's a culture of suspicion and conspiracy in Russia, so even if in fact this had nothing to do with authority, nothing to do with a power element, a good number of people in Russia and around the world will find this suspicious.

  4. Phoenix Fire Department:

    Yes. We make that difference because we look different than other people – but I never want to diminish the value of the time we’ve put in to our craft. The continuous training, the continuous studying. I think the connection to the community is that it’s sometimes easier to approach me because I look like your mom or someone in the community. So, I think the approachability factor is different and, I think, an added benefit. when you’re riding on big red and you’re going on calls, being a woman on the call you bring a whole different element.

  5. Julia Reinprecht:

    What 2012 offers us is quite the experience, i mean we finished last, there was a big learning element there.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for element

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