from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of or relating to the foundation or base; elementary: the fundamental laws of the universe.
- adj. Forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure; central: an example that was fundamental to the argument.
- adj. Of great significance or entailing major change: a book that underwent fundamental revision.
- adj. Physics Of or relating to the component of lowest frequency of a periodic wave or quantity.
- adj. Physics Of or relating to the lowest possible frequency of a vibrating element or system.
- adj. Music Having the root in the bass: a fundamental chord.
- n. Something that is an essential or necessary part of a system or object.
- n. Music The first harmonic in a harmonic series; the lowest harmonic.
- n. Physics The lowest frequency of a periodically varying quantity or of a vibrating system.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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.
- adj. 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.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation.
- n. A leading or primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part, .
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to the foundation; serving as or being a component part of a foundation or basis; hence, essential; important; original; elementary: as, a fundamental truth or principle; a. fundamental law.
- See fundamental, n., 2.
- The low tone generated by the tones of a chord. Also called fundamental note.
- n. A leading or primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the groundwork of a system; an essential part: as, the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
- n. In music: The root of a chord.
- n. The generator of a series of harmonics. Also called fundamental bass, note, or tone.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the lowest tone of a harmonic series
- adj. far-reaching and thoroughgoing in effect especially on the nature of something
- n. any factor that could be considered important to the understanding of a particular business
- adj. serving as an essential component
- adj. being or involving basic facts or principles
Here we join issue with those Socialist writers who advocate the endowment of motherhood and give it their own meaning; and that is why in a preceding paragraph the word fundamental has been emphasized, since in the endowment of motherhood as understood by socialists there are two principles, one which I call fundamental, and a second -- that the endowment shall be by the State -- which now falls to be considered.
There's no real harm in the use of the term fundamental in this context, but this is about where the word gets elevated beyond its usefulness and starts becoming a hurdle to progress, and then a barrier.
But, of course, the danger in messing with anything this fundamental is the possibility of royally screwing things up.
Brian Katulis, a national security expert at the Center for American Progress, said he is worried that members of the Obama administration have lost sight of what he calls the fundamental question: "Are we actually keeping Americans safe?"
As though in tandem, Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Breyer recited what they called a fundamental principle: that the public must be able to understand what a criminal law means.
In places like Cleveland and Detroit, Donovan is planning what he called a fundamental rethinking of land use.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky challenged us to "go to the mountain" -- as we have for education and voting rights -- to ensure health care for all, which he called a fundamental human right.
Both the decisions accorded the principle of equality for women, which they termed a fundamental principle, much less than a hegemony in this balance.
He says he's upset because he says they violated what he calls a fundamental rule of life.
She promised what she called a fundamental break with Liberia's violent past, a 14-year civil war.