What does fundamental mean?

Definitions for fundamental
ˌfʌn dəˈmɛn tlfun·da·men·tal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word fundamental.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fundamentalnoun

    any factor that could be considered important to the understanding of a particular business

    "fundamentals include a company's growth, revenues, earnings, management, and capital structure"

  2. fundamental, fundamental frequency, first harmonicadjective

    the lowest tone of a harmonic series

  3. cardinal, central, fundamental, key, primaladjective

    serving as an essential component

    "a cardinal rule"; "the central cause of the problem"; "an example that was fundamental to the argument"; "computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure"

  4. fundamental, rudimentary, underlyingadjective

    being or involving basic facts or principles

    "the fundamental laws of the universe"; "a fundamental incomatibility between them"; "these rudimentary truths"; "underlying principles"

  5. fundamental, profoundadjective

    far-reaching and thoroughgoing in effect especially on the nature of something

    "the fundamental revolution in human values that has occurred"; "the book underwent fundamental changes"; "committed the fundamental error of confusing spending with extravagance"; "profound social changes"


  1. fundamentalnoun

    A leading or primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part, as, the fundamentals of linear algebra.

  2. fundamentaladjective

    Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation. Hence: Essential, as an element, principle, or law; important; original; elementary; as, a fundamental truth; a fundamental axiom.

    One of the fundamental reasons I can't give birth is that I am, in fact, a man.

  3. Etymology: From fundamentalis, from fundamentum, from fundare, from fundus

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Fundamentaladjective

    Serving for the foundation; that upon which the rest is built; essential; important; not merely accidental.

    Etymology: fundamentalis, Lat. from fundament.

    Until this can be agreed upon, one main and fundamental cause of the most grievous war is not like to be taken from the earth. Walter Raleigh, Essays.

    You that will be less fearful than discreet,
    That love the fundamental part of state,
    More than you doubt the charge of ’t. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Others, when they were brought to allow the throne vacant, thought the succession should go to the next heir, according to the fundamental laws of the kingdom, as if the last king were actually dead. Jonathan Swift, Examiner.

    Gain some general and fundamental truths, both in philosophy, in religion, and in human life. Isaac Watts.

    Such we find they are, as can controul
    The servile actions of our wav’ring soul,
    Can fright, can alter, or can chain the will;
    Their ills all built on life, that fundamental ill. Matthew Prior.

    Yet some there were among the sounder few,
    Of those who less presum’d, and better knew,
    Who durst assert the juster ancient cause,
    And here restor’d wit’s fundamental laws. Alexander Pope, on Criticism.

  2. Fundamentalnoun

    Leading proposition; important and essential part which is the groundwork of the rest.

    We will propose the question, whether those who hold the fundamentals of faith may deny Christ damnably, in respect of those superstructures and consequences that arise from them. Robert South, Sermons.

    It is a very just reproach, that there should be so much violence and hatred in religious matters among men who agree in all fundamentals, and only differ in some ceremonies, or mere speculative points. Jonathan Swift.


  1. fundamental

    Fundamental refers to something that is essential, basic, or foundational. It can denote core principles, key elements, or the underlying basis on which something is built or understood. Fundamentals are fundamental concepts, theories, laws, or truths that serve as the backbone or framework of a particular system, subject, or discipline. They are typically considered as the most important or indispensable components that form the basis for further analysis, development, or understanding.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fundamentaladjective

    pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation. Hence: Essential, as an element, principle, or law; important; original; elementary; as, a fundamental truth; a fundamental axiom

  2. Fundamentalnoun

    a leading or primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part, as, the fundamentals of the Christian faith

  3. Etymology: [Cf. F. fondamental.]


  1. Fundamental

    Fundamental is the ninth studio album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was released in May 2006 in the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, and Canada, and was released in late June 2006 in the United States. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number five on 28 May 2006. In the US the album peaked at #150 selling 7500 copies in its first week. As of April 2009 it had sold 46,000 copies in the US and 66,000 copies in the UK. Fundamental earned three Grammy nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Recording with "I'm with Stupid" and 2008 for Best Dance Recording with "Minimal". The album was produced by the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Horn and it features eleven new Pet Shop Boys compositions, and "Numb", written by Diane Warren. The liner notes show that the album is dedicated to two executed Iranian gay teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, who were hanged on 19 July 2005. Some reports have suggested the two may have been executed for engaging in homosexual behaviour, though the official Iranian report was that they were hanged for raping a 13-year-old boy. The album was critically acclaimed and went on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fundamental

    fun-da-ment′al, adj. essential, basal, primary: important.—n. that which serves as a groundwork: an essential.—ns. Fund′ament, the lower part or seat of the body; Fundamental′ity.—adv. Fundament′ally. [Fr.,—L. fundamentum, fundāre, to found.]

Editors Contribution

  1. fundamental

    Accurate and required for an animal, human being, structure or system to ensure it is exact and complete.

    The fundamental facets of the system are there, it is just a matter of changing the amount.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 26, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fundamental' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2263

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fundamental' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3540

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fundamental' in Adjectives Frequency: #299

How to pronounce fundamental?

How to say fundamental in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fundamental in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fundamental in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of fundamental in a Sentence

  1. Anna Mascolo:

    This is a fundamental step up in the industry, we need to put more effort into decarbonizing the [ aviation ] sector.

  2. Jens Stoltenberg:

    I regret to say this is the new normal in Eastern Europe, we do not know what will happen in United States. But the situation has already demonstrated we face a crisis in European security. Moscow has made it clear that it is prepared to contest the fundamental principles that have underpinned our security for decades and do so by using force.

  3. Manik Narain:

    We did see a raft of very weak PMI data across emerging markets this morning, which is a timely reminder after the rally last week, induced by the BOJ stimulus, that a lot of the fundamental headwinds for EMs remain in place, that tug-of-war is reflected in the market this morning.

  4. Joe Biden:

    Today, we enshrined into law, our recognition that The Postal Service is fundamental to our economy, to our democracy, to our health, and the very sense of who we are as a nation.

  5. Russian President Vladimir Putin:

    With the participation of the Russian military ... the Syrian armed forces and patriotic Syrian forces have been able to achieve a fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism and have taken the initiative in almost all respects.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for fundamental

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"fundamental." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 28 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/fundamental>.

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    evincing the presence of a deity
    • A. usurious
    • B. numinous
    • C. dicotyledonous
    • D. naiant

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