Meaning of “fundamental” in the English Dictionary

"fundamental" in British English

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fundamentaladjective

uk /ˌfʌn.dəˈmen.təl/ us /ˌfʌn.dəˈmen.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 all children should reach their 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.

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(Definition of “fundamental” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fundamental" in American English

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fundamentaladjective

us /ˌfʌn·dəˈmen·təl/

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.
fundamentally
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ˌfʌn·dəˈmen·təl·i/

Their economy was fundamentally (= basically) in good shape.
fundamentals
plural noun us /ˌfʌn·dəˈmen·təlz/

In the early grades, children learn the fundamentals of reading.

(Definition of “fundamental” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"fundamental" in Business English

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fundamentaladjective

uk /ˌfʌndəˈmentəl/ us

FINANCE, ECONOMICS used to describe the basic causes of changes in the value of shares, etc. that relate to the condition of companies and the economy:

Fundamental factors will have the most impact on currency.

very important and basic:

fundamental in/to sth The multilateral trading system has been fundamental in economic success.
There is no need to change anything fundamental about the way the business works.

(Definition of “fundamental” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)