9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fuhn-duh-men-tl] /ˌfʌn dəˈmɛn tl/
serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying:
fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.
of, relating to, or affecting the foundation or basis:
a fundamental revision.
being an original or primary source:
a fundamental idea.
Music. (of a chord) having its root as its lowest note.
a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part:
to master the fundamentals of a trade.
Also called fundamental note, fundamental tone. Music.
  1. the root of a chord.
  2. the generator of a series of harmonics.
Physics. the component of lowest frequency in a composite wave.
Origin of fundamental
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin fundāmentālis of, belonging to a foundation. See fundament, -al1
Related forms
fundamentality, fundamentalness, noun
fundamentally, adverb
nonfundamental, adjective, noun
nonfundamentally, adverb
unfundamental, adjective
unfundamentally, adverb
1. indispensable, primary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fundamentals
  • These necessary fundamentals of style are hardly felt by the artist to constrain his individuality of expression.
  • Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be reduced.
  • Economic fundamentals are sound, marked by strong economic growth and foreign direct investment.
  • The subsequent business meeting puts them upon the fundamentals of civilized society, as it were.
  • But if you stick to two key fundamentals of preparedness, you'll be able to avoid the countless pitfalls.
  • In normal times, this might not have mattered, given the country's solid economic fundamentals.
  • They lose a whole lot of money if the long-term fundamentals were not aligned with that trade.
  • Essentially you're paying to work there teaching music fundamentals.
  • They are there to teach you the fundamentals and groom you as a student.
  • The market has already seen the fundamentals and come up with a fair price based on the current information.
British Dictionary definitions for fundamentals


of, involving, or comprising a foundation; basic
of, involving, or comprising a source; primary
(music) denoting or relating to the principal or lowest note of a harmonic series
of or concerned with the component of lowest frequency in a complex vibration
a principle, law, etc, that serves as the basis of an idea or system
  1. the principal or lowest note of a harmonic series
  2. the bass note of a chord in root position
(physics) Also called fundamental frequency, first harmonic
  1. the component of lowest frequency in a complex vibration
  2. the frequency of this component
Derived Forms
fundamentality, fundamentalness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fundamentals



mid-15c., "primary, original, pertaining to a foundation," modeled on Late Latin fundamentalis "of the foundation," from Latin fundamentum "foundation" (see fundament). Fundamentals "primary principles or rules" of anything is from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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