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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfundamentalfun‧da‧men‧tal /ˌfʌndəˈmentl◂/ ●●○ W2 AWL adjective  1 BASICrelating to the most basic and important parts of something We have to tackle the fundamental cause of the problem.fundamental change/difference/distinction/shift etc a fundamental difference in opinionfundamental mistake/error Novice programmers sometimes make fundamental errors. the fundamental principles of liberty and equality2 IMPORTANTvery necessary and important fundamental human rightsfundamental to Water is fundamental to survival.COLLOCATIONSnounsa fundamental changeA fundamental change is needed in the voting system.a fundamental differenceThere is no fundamental difference between people of different races.a fundamental distinction (=a clear difference between two similar things)A fundamental distinction exists between knowing a fact and understanding it.a fundamental problemCharity could not solve the fundamental problem of unemployment.a fundamental questionTo reach a solution several fundamental questions need to be answered.a fundamental issueThis report raises a number of fundamental issues.the fundamental reasonThe fundamental reason for the project’s failure was the lack of funds.the fundamental causeA burst tyre was the fundamental cause of the crash.a fundamental mistake/errorThe government made at least one fundamental mistake when drawing up this legislation.a fundamental weakness (=fault)She points out the fundamental weaknesses in his argument.a fundamental flaw (=fault that makes something imperfect)There is a fundamental flaw in the current tax system.fundamental principles (=moral rules or beliefs about what is right and wrong)Let me state a couple of fundamental principles which we value highly.phrasessomething is of fundamental importance (=it is extremely important)It is of fundamental importance that justice should be seen to be done.
Examples from the Corpus
fundamentalthe fundamental beliefs of ChristianityIt is different from any Byzantine architecture in east or west but owes much of its fundamental character to the Byzantine style.If this treatment changes the fundamental disease process, a prolonged period of remission might be expected in these patients.Are there fundamental elements of human nature that can not be significantly altered by socialization and institutions?Tax studies purporting to show that most capital gains tax is paid by higher-income individuals reflect a fundamental error.Eikmeyer's fundamental insight is that co-operation and non-co-operation are not simply polar opposites along a scale.This suggested that the fundamental problem of many working class families was one of scarce resources.Raising your child to tell the difference between right and wrong is one of the fundamental tasks of parenthood.Water is fundamental to survival.Meanwhile the population is changing in fundamental ways.fundamental change/difference/distinction/shift etcBagehot's work continued to be regarded as an authoritative work long after the Constitution had undergone fundamental change.If the leadership of educational institutions is to be effective then a number of fundamental changes are needed.In this regard, fundamental changes are required in organizational patterns of scientific and technological activities in the region.But there was a fundamental difference between Macaulay's views and those of Temple.Begin by facing up to the headlines and statistics of most fundamental change efforts to date.You have experienced the variety of human motivations stirred up by fundamental change in organizations.Deciding that enough was enough, Mr Ramsden made some simple but fundamental changes to the credit control process.fundamental toCompetition is fundamental to keeping prices down.
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