Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Origin: fundament 'basic part' (13-21 centuries), from Latin fundus; FUND1

fundamental

adjective
     
fun‧da‧men‧tal S2 W2
1 relating 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 opinion
fundamental mistake/error
Novice programmers sometimes make fundamental errors.
the fundamental principles of liberty and equality
2 very necessary and important:
fundamental to
Water is fundamental to survival.

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