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.
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.
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.