Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “fundamental”


adjective  /ˌfʌn·dəˈmen·təl/ us  
being the most basic or most important thing on which other things depend: fundamental beliefs/principles We need to make fundamental changes in the way we treat our environment.
adverb [not gradable]  /ˌfʌn·dəˈmen·təl·i/ us  
Their economy was fundamentally (= basically) in good shape.
plural noun  /ˌfʌn·dəˈmen·təlz/ us  
In the early grades, children learn the fundamentals of reading.
(Definition of fundamental from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of fundamental?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “fundamental”

Definitions of “fundamental” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


like hops (= dried fruit used to make beer)

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More