What does simple mean?

Definitions for simple
ˈsɪm pəlsim·ple

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. simplenoun

    any herbaceous plant having medicinal properties

  2. simpleton, simpleadjective

    a person lacking intelligence or common sense

  3. simpleadjective

    having few parts; not complex or complicated or involved

    "a simple problem"; "simple mechanisms"; "a simple design"; "a simple substance"

  4. elementary, simple, uncomplicated, unproblematicadjective

    easy and not involved or complicated

    "an elementary problem in statistics"; "elementary, my dear Watson"; "a simple game"; "found an uncomplicated solution to the problem"

  5. bare(a), mere(a), simple(a)adjective

    apart from anything else; without additions or modifications

    "only the bare facts"; "shocked by the mere idea"; "the simple passage of time was enough"; "the simple truth"

  6. childlike, wide-eyed, round-eyed, dewy-eyed, simpleadjective

    exhibiting childlike simplicity and credulity

    "childlike trust"; "dewy-eyed innocence"; "listened in round-eyed wonder"

  7. dim-witted, simple, simple-mindedadjective

    lacking mental capacity and subtlety

  8. simple, unsubdividedadjective

    (botany) of leaf shapes; of leaves having no divisions or subdivisions

  9. simpleadjective


    "a simple country schoolhouse"; "her black dress--simple to austerity"


  1. simplenoun

    A preparation made from one plant, as opposed to something made from more than one plant.

  2. simplenoun

    A simple or atomic proposition

  3. simpleverb

    To gather simples, ie, medicinal herbs.

  4. simpleadjective

    Uncomplicated; taken by itself, with nothing added.

  5. simpleadjective

    Without ornamentation; plain.

  6. simpleadjective

    Free from duplicity; guileless, innocent, straightforward.

  7. simpleadjective

    Undistinguished in social condition; of no special rank.

  8. simpleadjective

    Trivial; insignificant.

  9. simpleadjective

    Feeble-minded; foolish.

  10. simpleadjective

    Consisting of one single substance; uncompounded.

  11. simpleadjective

    Of a group: having no normal subgroup.

  12. simpleadjective

    Not compound, but possibly lobed.

  13. Etymology: From simple, from and simple, from simplex, from sim- + plicare: see same and fold. Compare single, singular, simultaneous, etc.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Simpleadjective

    Etymology: simplex, Latin; simple, French.

    Were it not to satisfy the minds of the simpler sort of men, these nice curiosities are not worthy the labour which we bestow to answer them. Richard Hooker.

    They meet upon the way,
    A simple husbandman in garments grey. Hubberd’s Tale.

    I am a simple woman, much too weak
    T’ oppose your cunning. William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    O Ethelinda,
    My heart was made to fit and pair with thine,
    Simple and plain, and fraught with artless tenderness. Nicholas Rowe.

    To make the compound pass for the rich metal simple, is an adulteration or counterfeiting. Francis Bacon.

    Simple philosophically signifies single, but vulgarly foolish. Isaac Watts.

    Among substances some are called simple, some compound, whether taken in a philosophical or vulgar sense. Isaac Watts.

    If we take simple and compound in a vulgar sense, then all those are simple substances which are generally esteemed uniform in their natures: so every herb is called a simple, and every metal a mineral; though the chymist perhaps may find all his several elements in each of them. Isaac Watts, Logicks.

    Let Isaac Newton, pure intelligence, whom God
    To mortals lent, to trace his boundless works,
    From laws, sublimely simple, speak thy fame
    In all philosophy. James Thomson, Summer.

    The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going. Prov. xv.

    I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. Rom. xvi. 19.

    Dick, simple odes too many show
    My servile complaisance to Cloe. Matthew Prior.

  2. Simplenoun

    A single ingredient in a medicine; a drug. It is popularly used for an herb.

    Etymology: simple, French.

    Of simples in these groves that grow,
    We’ll learn the perfect skill;
    The nature of each herb to know,
    Which cures, and which can kill. Michael Drayton, Q. of Cynthia.

    Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
    The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
    Are many simples operative, whose power
    Will close the eye of anguish. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    He would ope his leathern scrip,
    And shew me simples of a thousand names,
    Telling their strange and vigorous faculties John Milton.

    What virtue is in this remedy lies in the naked simple itself, as it comes over from the Indies. William Temple.

    Around its entries nodding poppies grow,
    And all cool simples that sweet rest bestow;
    Night from the plants their sleepy virtue drains,
    And passing, sheds it on the silent plains. Dryden.

    Med’cine is mine: what herbs and simples grow
    In fields and forests, all their pow’rs I know,
    And am the great physician call’d. Dryden.

  3. To Simpleverb

    To gather simples.

    As once the foaming boar he chas’d,
    Lascivious Circe well the youth survey’d,
    As simpling on the flow’ry hills he stray’d. Samuel Garth.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Simpleadjective

    single; not complex; not infolded or entangled; uncombined; not compounded; not blended with something else; not complicated; as, a simple substance; a simple idea; a simple sound; a simple machine; a simple problem; simple tasks

  2. Simpleadjective

    plain; unadorned; as, simple dress

  3. Simpleadjective

    mere; not other than; being only

  4. Simpleadjective

    not given to artifice, stratagem, or duplicity; undesigning; sincere; true

  5. Simpleadjective

    artless in manner; unaffected; unconstrained; natural; inartificial;; straightforward

  6. Simpleadjective

    direct; clear; intelligible; not abstruse or enigmatical; as, a simple statement; simple language

  7. Simpleadjective

    weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; of but moderate understanding or attainments; hence, foolish; silly

  8. Simpleadjective

    not luxurious; without much variety; plain; as, a simple diet; a simple way of living

  9. Simpleadjective

    humble; lowly; undistinguished

  10. Simpleadjective

    without subdivisions; entire; as, a simple stem; a simple leaf

  11. Simpleadjective

    not capable of being decomposed into anything more simple or ultimate by any means at present known; elementary; thus, atoms are regarded as simple bodies. Cf. Ultimate, a

  12. Simpleadjective


  13. Simpleadjective

    consisting of a single individual or zooid; as, a simple ascidian; -- opposed to compound

  14. Simpleadjective

    something not mixed or compounded

  15. Simpleadjective

    a medicinal plant; -- so called because each vegetable was supposed to possess its particular virtue, and therefore to constitute a simple remedy

  16. Simpleadjective

    a drawloom

  17. Simpleadjective

    a part of the apparatus for raising the heddles of a drawloom

  18. Simpleadjective

    a feast which is not a double or a semidouble

  19. Simpleverb

    to gather simples, or medicinal plants

  20. Etymology: [F. See Simple, a.]



    SIMPLE, the session initiation protocol for instant messaging and presence leveraging extensions, is an instant messaging and presence protocol suite based on Session Initiation Protocol managed by the IETF. Contrary to the vast majority of IM and presence protocols used by software deployed today, SIMPLE is an open standard like XMPP.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Simple

    sim′pl, adj. single: undivided: resisting decomposition: elementary, undeveloped: plain, single, entire: homogeneous: open: unaffected: undesigning: true: clear: straightforward: artless: guileless: unsuspecting: credulous: not cunning: weak in intellect: silly: of mean birth—opposed to Gentle.—n. something not mixed or compounded: a medicinal herb: a simple feast—opposed to a double or semidouble.—v.i. to gather simples or medicinal plants.—adjs. Sim′ple-heart′ed, having a simple heart: guileless; Sim′ple-mind′ed, having a simple mind: unsuspecting: undesigning.—ns. Sim′ple-mind′edness, the state or quality of being simple-minded: artlessness; Sim′pleness, the state or quality of being simple: artlessness: simplicity: folly; Sim′pler, a gatherer of simples; Sim′pless (Spens.), simplicity; Sim′pleton, a weak or foolish person.—adv. Simplic′iter, simply, not relatively.—ns. Simplic′ity, the state or quality of being simple: singleness: want of complication: openness: clearness: freedom from excessive adornment: plainness: sincerity: artlessness: credulity, silliness, folly; Simplificā′tion, the act of making simple.—adj. Sim′plificātive.—n. Sim′plificātor, one who simplifies.—v.t. Sim′plify, to make simple: to render less difficult: to make plain:—pa.t. and pa.p. sim′plified.ns. Sim′plism, affected simplicity; Sim′plist, one skilled in simples.—adj. Simplis′tic.—adv. Sim′ply, in a simple manner: artlessly: foolishly: weakly: plainly: considered by itself: alone: merely: solely. [Fr.,—L. simplex, the same—sim- (L. semel), root of plicāre, to fold.]


  1. Simple

    What is it? simple makes it faster and easier than ever for organizations, companies, and groups to communicate and get organized. simple in an affordable innovative interaction system that promises to bring efficiency to group communication.Who is it for? greek organizations, wall street companies, small businesses, and any group looking for an effective, secure, and most importantly quick way to communicate amongst its members.Features include A Facebook like News Feed for recent network activity, mass text messaging and emails, custom events, user profiles and note boards, message boards, polls & questions, and much more.Thousands of users are enjoying simple every day.

Editors Contribution

  1. simple

    Easy, perfect and concise to create, understand or do

    The presentation is simple and effective.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 22, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'simple' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #696

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'simple' in Written Corpus Frequency: #953

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'simple' in Adjectives Frequency: #68

Anagrams for simple »

  1. impels

  2. mespil

How to pronounce simple?

How to say simple in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of simple in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of simple in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of simple in a Sentence

  1. Student Ariel Braun:

    A lot of times you have to think outside the box, and that's very, very important, especially in studying the scriptures, to think beyond the simple understanding of what's in front of you, look into different levels and try and get deeper into the problem.

  2. Adhi Agus Oktaviana:

    The hunters represented in the ancient rock art panel are simple figures with human-like bodies, but they have been depicted with heads or other body parts like those from birds, reptiles and other faunal species endemic to Sulawesi.

  3. Donald Trump:

    The cover up was one of the worst in the history of cover ups, it's very simple.

  4. Adam Smith:

    The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.

  5. President Biden:

    If you’re doing business with the friends of Russia, you’re helping out Russians. It’s that simple, now you have an energy crisis, and your only way to resolve that is to do business with some of the most unsavory countries on Planet Earth who are the biggest human rights abusers.

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    heighten or intensify
    • A. inspire
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