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English definition of “fundamental”

fundamental

adjective     /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 .Essential or necessary C2 more important than anything else : Some understanding of grammar is fundamental to learning a language .Essential or necessary
(Definition of fundamental adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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