1. of the nature of an ultimate constituent; simple; uncompounded.
  2. pertaining to rudiments or first principles.
  3. starkly simple, primitive, or basic: a spare, elemental prose style; hate, lust, and other elemental emotions.
  4. pertaining to the agencies, forces, or phenomena of physical nature: elemental gods.
  5. comparable to the great forces of nature, as in power or magnitude: elemental grandeur.
  6. of, relating to, or of the nature of the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire, or of any one of them.
  7. pertaining to chemical elements.


  1. fundamental; basic; primalthe elemental needs of man
  2. motivated by or symbolic of primitive and powerful natural forces or passionselemental rites of worship
  3. of or relating to earth, air, water, and fire considered as elements
  4. of or relating to atmospheric forces, esp wind, rain, and cold
  5. of, relating to, or denoting a chemical element


  1. rare a spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form

late 15c., “pertaining to the four elements,” from Medieval Latin elementalis, from Latin elementum (see element). Meaning “simple, uncomplicated” is from 1550s; that of “relating to first principles” is from 1570s. The noun in the occult sense is from 1877.

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