rudiment

[roo-duh-muhnt]
noun
1.
Usually, rudiments.
a.
the elements or first principles of a subject: the rudiments of grammar.
b.
a mere beginning, first slight appearance, or undeveloped or imperfect form of something: the rudiments of a plan.
2.
Biology. an organ or part incompletely developed in size or structure, as one in an embryonic stage, one arrested in growth, or one with no functional activity, as a vestige.

Origin:
1540–50; < Latin rudīmentum early training, first experience, initial stage, equivalent to rudi(s) unformed, rough (see rude) + -mentum -ment (-ī- for -i- after verbal derivatives)

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World English Dictionary
rudiment (ˈruːdɪmənt)
 
n
1.  (often plural) the first principles or elementary stages of a subject
2.  (often plural) a partially developed version of something
3.  biology an organ or part in its earliest recognizable form, esp one in an embryonic or vestigial state
 
[C16: from Latin rudīmentum a beginning, from rudis unformed; see rude]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

rudiment
1540s, from M.Fr. (16c.), from L. rudimentum "early training, first experience, beginning, first principle," from rudis "unlearned, untrained" (see rude).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

rudiment ru·di·ment (rōō'də-mənt)
n.

  1. An imperfectly or incompletely developed organ or part.

  2. Something in an incipient or undeveloped form. Often used in the plural.

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Example sentences
They go to such places seeking in the simpler societies the rudiments of human.
Over the course of a few months, all seven patients developed the rudiments of
  walking.
Pedestrian dialogue doesn't give the cast much to work with beyond rudiments of
  motivation and story points.
But it's also possible that the rudiments of ethical behavior are simply.
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