Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin elementum


Related topics: Elements, Earth Sciences
el‧e‧ment S2 W1 [countable]


one part or feature of a whole system, plan, piece of work etc, especially one that is basic or important
element of
Honesty is a vital element of her success.
element in
the primary element in the country's economy
important/key/essential/vital etc element
Besides ability, the other essential element in political success is luck.
Business and management elements are built into the course.

element of surprise/truth/risk/doubt etc

an amount, usually small, of a quality or feeling:
There is an element of truth in your argument.


a simple chemical substance such as carbon or oxygen that consists of atoms of only one kind compound1 (1)


a group of people who form part of a larger group, especially when the rest of the group does not approve of them [↪ faction]:
the hard-line communist elements in the party

the elements

[plural]DN the weather, especially bad weather:
sailors battling against the elements


the part of a piece of electrical equipment that produces heat

the elements of something

the most simple things that you have to learn first about a subject:
She doesn't even know the basic elements of politeness.


HE one of the four substances (earth, air, fire, and water) from which people used to believe that everything was made

be in your element

to be in a situation that you enjoy, because you are good at it:
Graham was in his element, building a fire and cooking the steaks.

be out of your element

to be in a situation that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy:
She was out of her element in this dull little town.

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