Element

Definition of Element

El´e`ment   Pronunciation: ĕl´ė`mĕnt
n.1.One of the simplest or essential parts or principles of which anything consists, or upon which the constitution or fundamental powers of anything are based.
2.(Chem.) One of the ultimate, undecomposable constituents of any kind of matter. Specifically: (Chem.) A substance which cannot be decomposed into different kinds of matter by any means at present employed; as, the elements of water are oxygen and hydrogen.
3.One of the ultimate parts which are variously combined in anything; as, letters are the elements of written language; hence, also, a simple portion of that which is complex, as a shaft, lever, wheel, or any simple part in a machine; one of the essential ingredients of any mixture; a constituent part; as, quartz, feldspar, and mica are the elements of granite.
The simplicity which is so large an element in a noble nature was laughed to scorn.
- Jowett (Thucyd.).
4.(Anat.) One out of several parts combined in a system of aggregation, when each is of the nature of the whole; as, a single cell is an element of the honeycomb.
5.(Biol.) One of the simplest essential parts, more commonly called cells, of which animal and vegetable organisms, or their tissues and organs, are composed.
6.(Math.) An infinitesimal part of anything of the same nature as the entire magnitude considered; as, in a solid an element may be the infinitesimal portion between any two planes that are separated an indefinitely small distance. In the calculus, element is sometimes used as synonymous with differential.
7.One of the necessary data or values upon which a system of calculations depends, or general conclusions are based; as, the elements of a planet's orbit.
8.The simplest or fundamental principles of any system in philosophy, science, or art; rudiments; as, the elements of geometry, or of music.
9.Any outline or sketch, regarded as containing the fundamental ideas or features of the thing in question; as, the elements of a plan.
10.One of the simple substances, as supposed by the ancient philosophers; one of the imaginary principles of matter.
Of elements
The grosser feeds the purer: Earth the Sea;
Earth and the Sea feed Air; the Air those Fires
Ethereal.
- Milton.
Does not our life consist of the four elements?
- Shak.
And the complexion of the element [i. e.,the sky or air]
In favor's like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
- Shak.
About twelve ounces [of food], with mere element for drink.
- Cheyne.
They show that they are out of their element.
- T. Baker.
11.the conditions and movements of the air.
11.The whole material composing the world.
The elements shall melt with fervent heat.
- 2 Peter iii. 10.
12.(Eccl.) The bread and wine used in the eucharist or Lord's supper.
Magnetic element
one of the hypothetical elementary portions of which a magnet is regarded as made up.
v. t.1.To compound of elements or first principles.
2.To constitute; to make up with elements.
His very soul was elemented of nothing but sadness.
- Walton.

Related Words

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