views updated May 23 2018

sim·ple / ˈsimpəl/ • adj. (-pler, -plest) 1. easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty: a simple solution camcorders are now so simple to operate. ∎  plain, basic, or uncomplicated in form, nature, or design; without much decoration or ornamentation: a simple white blouse the house is furnished in a simple country style. ∎  used to emphasize the fundamental and straightforward nature of something: the simple truth.2. composed of a single element; not compound. ∎  Math. denoting a group that has no proper normal subgroup. ∎  Bot. (of a leaf or stem) not divided or branched. ∎  (of a lens, microscope, etc.) consisting of a single lens or component. ∎  (in English grammar) denoting a tense formed without an auxiliary, e.g., sang as opposed to was singing. ∎  (of interest) payable on the sum loaned only. Compare with compound1 .3. of or characteristic of low rank or status; humble and unpretentious: a simple Buddhist monk.4. of low or abnormally low intelligence.• n. chiefly hist. a medicinal herb, or a medicine made from one: the gatherers of simples.DERIVATIVES: sim·ple·ness n.


views updated May 11 2018

A. free from duplicity; free from pride XIII;

B. of humble condition; ordinary, homely XIII; deficient in knowledge XIV; silly XVII;

C. with nothing added XIV; not complex XV;

D. sb. pl. persons of humble status; unlettered people XIV; sg. (gram.) simplex; (arch.) uncompounded substance, herb for use as such XVI. — (O)F. — L. simplus, corr. to Gr. haplǒos, f. IE. *sm- *sem- *som- (cf. SAME) + *pl-, as in duplus DOUBLE, triplus TRIPLE, etc.
Hence simply XIII. So simplex consisting of a single part XVI; sb. (gram.) uncompounded word XIX. — L., with second el. as in duplex, multiplex, -plic- (see PLY1). simplicity XIV. — (O)F. or L., f. simplex, -plic- simplify XVII. — F. medL. simplification XVII.


views updated May 29 2018


Unmixed; not aggravated or compounded.

A simple assault, for example, is one that is not accompanied by any circumstances of aggravation, such as assault with a deadly weapon.

Simple interest is a fixed amount paid in exchange for a sum of money lent. The interest generated on the amount borrowed does not itself earn interest, unlike interest earned where parties agree to compound interest.


views updated May 17 2018

simple Of a leaf, not lobed or divided. Compare COMPOUND.