Rudimentary refers to something that is basic, undeveloped, or in an early stage of development.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



Basic, elementary, fundamental, primitive, preliminary


Advanced, sophisticated, complex, refined, elaborate

Example sentences

  • The children were taught the rudimentary principles of mathematics before moving on to more advanced concepts.
  • The new employee had only a rudimentary understanding of the company’s operations.
  • The first version of the software was very rudimentary, with only basic features and limited functionality.
  • The cave paintings provided a fascinating glimpse into the rudimentary artistic techniques of ancient humans.


The word “rudimentary” is often used to describe things that are in an early or undeveloped stage of development. This can refer to physical objects or systems, such as a rudimentary machine or a rudimentary form of transportation, as well as abstract concepts like language or thought processes.

One common usage of “rudimentary” is in the context of education. A teacher might use the term to describe the foundational concepts or skills that students must learn before moving on to more advanced topics. For example, a student learning a new language might need to master the rudimentary grammar rules and vocabulary before being able to hold a conversation or read a complex text.

The word “rudimentary” comes from the Latin word “rudimentum,” which means a first principle or beginning. It is often used in conjunction with other words to describe different stages of development or levels of complexity. For example, “rudimentary knowledge” might refer to a basic understanding of a subject, while “rudimentary tools” might refer to simple implements that are used for basic tasks.

There are a few variations of the word “rudimentary” that may be worth noting. The adverb form is “rudimentarily,” which can be used to modify a verb to indicate that something is being done in a basic or undeveloped way. There is also a noun form, “rudiment,” which refers to a basic or fundamental principle or skill.

In conclusion, “rudimentary” refers to something that is basic, undeveloped, or in an early stage of development. It is often used in the context of education, language, and technology to describe foundational concepts or simple systems. The word has a Latin root and can be modified with an adverb or used as a noun to refer to a fundamental principle or skill