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[roo-duh-muh nt] /ˈru də mənt/
Usually, rudiments.
  1. the elements or first principles of a subject:
    the rudiments of grammar.
  2. a mere beginning, first slight appearance, or undeveloped or imperfect form of something:
    the rudiments of a plan.
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 of rudiment
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) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for rudiment


(often pl) the first principles or elementary stages of a subject
(often pl) a partially developed version of something
(biology) an organ or part in its earliest recognizable form, esp one in an embryonic or vestigial state
Word Origin
C16: from Latin rudīmentum a beginning, from rudis unformed; see rude
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for rudiment

1540s, from Middle French rudiment (16c.) or directly from Latin rudimentum "early training, first experience, beginning, first principle," from rudis "unlearned, untrained" (see rude). Related: Rudiments.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rudiment in Medicine

rudiment ru·di·ment (rōō'də-mənt)

  1. An imperfectly or incompletely developed organ or part.

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

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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