Notebook, 1993-



Substance, Condition, State or Sphere . . . . Constituent part . . . . The Simplest Principles . . . . Rudiments . . . . Entry, Factor, Value, Generator, Member . . . . Necessary Data or Value on which calculations or conclusions are based . . . . Distinct part . . . .

Element applies to any such part and often connotes irreductible simplicity

R  E  F  E  R  E  N  C  E  S 
Element n [ME, fr. OF & L; OF, fr. L elementum] [13c] 1 a: any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe b pl: weather conditions; esp: violent or severe weather [battling the __s] c: the state or sphere natural or suited to a person or thing [at school she was in her __] 2: a constituent part: as a pl: the simplest principles of a subject of study; Rudiments b [1]: a part of a geometric magnitude [an infinitesimal __ of volume] [2]: a generator of a geometric figure; also: a line or line segment contained in the surface of a cone or cylinder [3]: a basic member of a mathematical or logical class or set [4]: one of the individual entries in a mathematical matrix or determinant c: one of a number of distinct groups composing a larger group or community [the criminal __ in the city] d [1]: one of the necessary data or values on which calculations or conclusions are based [2]: one of the factors determining the outcome of a process c: any of more than 100 fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter f: a distinct part of a composite device g: a subdivision of a military unit 3 pl: the bread and wine used in the Eucharist -syn. Element, Component, Consitutent, Ingredient mean one of the parts of a compound or complex whole. Element applies to any such part and often connotes irreductible simplicity [the basic elements of geometry]. Component and Constitutent may designate any of the substances [whether elements or compounds] or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character [the components of a stereo system]. Constituent stresses its esssential and formative character [the constituents of a chemical compound]. Ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture [as a medicine or alloy] [the ingredients of a cocktail]. [Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995.]



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