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English definition of “fundamental”

fundamental

adjective uk   /ˌfʌn.dəˈmen.təl/ us    /-t̬əl/
C2 forming the base, from which everything else develops: We need to make fundamental changes to the way in which we treat our environment. It's one of the fundamental differences between men and women. The school is based on the fundamental principle that each child should develop its full potential. Diversity is of fundamental importance to all ecosystems and all economies. C2 more important than anything else: Some understanding of grammar is fundamental to learning a language.
(Definition of fundamental from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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