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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Similar to cows, the pronghorn has a rudiment stomach, or a four-part stomach.
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