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el·e·ment  (l-mnt)
1. A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity.
2. elements The basic assumptions or principles of a subject.
3. Mathematics
a. A member of a set.
b. A point, line, or plane.
c. A part of a geometric configuration, such as an angle in a triangle.
d. The generatrix of a geometric figure.
e. Any of the terms in the rectangular array of terms that constitute a matrix or determinant.
4. Chemistry & Physics A substance composed of atoms having an identical number of protons in each nucleus. Elements cannot be reduced to simpler substances by normal chemical means.
5. One of four substances, earth, air, fire, or water, formerly regarded as a fundamental constituent of the universe.
6. Electricity The resistance wire in an electrical appliance such as a heater or an oven.
7. elements The forces that constitute the weather, especially severe or inclement weather: outside paint that had been damaged by the elements.
8. An environment naturally suited to or associated with an individual: He is in his element when traveling. The business world is her element.
9. A distinct group within a larger community: the dissident element on campus.
10. A part of a military force, especially:
a. A ground unit in an air force comparable to a platoon.
b. A unit of an air force equal to two or three aircraft.
11. elements The bread and wine of the Eucharist.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin elementum, perhaps ultimately from lmn, first three letters of the second half of the Canaanite alphabet, recited by ancient scribes when learning it.]
Synonyms: element, component, constituent, factor, ingredient
These nouns denote one of the individual parts of which a composite entity is made up: the grammatical elements of a sentence; jealousy, a component of his character; melody and harmony, two of the constituents of a musical composition; ambition as a key factor in her success; humor, an effective ingredient of a speech.

element [ˈɛlɪmənt]
1. (Chemistry / Elements & Compounds) any of the 118 known substances (of which 93 occur naturally) that consist of atoms with the same number of protons in their nuclei Compare compound1 [1]
2. one of the fundamental or irreducible components making up a whole
3. a cause that contributes to a result; factor
4. any group that is part of a larger unit, such as a military formation
5. a small amount; hint an element of sarcasm in her voice
6. a distinguishable section of a social group he belonged to the stable element in the expedition
7. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Biology) the most favourable environment for an animal or plant
8. the situation in which a person is happiest or most effective (esp in the phrases in or out of ones element)
9. (Engineering / Electrical Engineering) the resistance wire and its former that constitute the electrical heater in a cooker, heater, etc.
10. (Electronics) Electronics another name for component [2]
11. (Philosophy) one of the four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the universe (earth, air, water, or fire)
12. (Earth Sciences / Physical Geography) (plural) atmospheric conditions or forces, esp wind, rain, and cold exposed to the elements
13. (plural) the first principles of a subject
14. (Mathematics) Geometry a point, line, plane, or part of a geometric figure
15. (Mathematics) Maths
a.  any of the terms in a determinant or matrix
b.  one of the infinitesimally small quantities summed by an integral, often represented by the expression following the integral sign in <$>baf(x)dx, f(x)dx is an element of area
16. (Mathematics) Maths Logic one of the objects or numbers that together constitute a set
17. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity the bread or wine consecrated in the Eucharist
18. (Astronomy) Astronomy any of the numerical quantities, such as the major axis or eccentricity, used in describing the orbit of a planet, satellite, etc.
19. (Communication Arts / Broadcasting) one of the vertical or horizontal rods forming a television or VHF radio receiving aerial
20. (Physics / General Physics) Physics a component of a compound lens
[from Latin elementum a first principle, alphabet, element, of uncertain origin]

element  (l-mnt)
1. A substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical means. An element is composed of atoms that have the same atomic number, that is, each atom has the same number of protons in its nucleus as all other atoms of that element. Today 115 elements are known, of which 92 are known to occur in nature, while the remainder have only been made with particle accelerators. Eighty-one of the elements have isotopes that are stable. The others, including technetium, promethium, and those with atomic numbers higher than 83, are radioactive. See Periodic Table.
2. Mathematics A member of a set.
Word History When Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev devised the Periodic Table in 1869, there were 63 known elements. Mendeleev classified the known elements by atomic weight, and arranged a table listing them with vertical rows corresponding to shared chemical characteristics. Gaps in the table suggested the possibility of elements not yet discovered, and indeed elements were later discovered, or in some cases, artificially created, that filled the gaps and had the expected chemical properties. The striking correlation between the atomic weight of an element and its chemical properties was later explained by quantum mechanical theories of the atom. The weight of an atom of any given element depends on the number of protons (and neutrons) in its nucleus, but the number of protons also determines the number and arrangement of electrons that can orbit the nucleus, and it is these outer shells of electrons that largely determine the elements chemical properties. Currently, 115 distinct elements are known.

element  /lmnt/  n. 1 a part, aspect: The most negative element of the project is its high cost. 2 a particular group of people: He belongs to a bad element in this city. 3 any of more than one hundred basic chemical substances: The elements hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water. 4 pl. the elements aspects of weather (wind, temperature, storms, etc.): People live in houses as protection against the elements. 5 to be in or out of ones element: to be in or away from ones familiar and comfortable role or area of expertise: The farmer was out of her element in the big city. element

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