1 adj You use fundamental to describe things, activities, and principles that are very important or essential. They affect the basic nature of other things or are the most important element upon which other things depend.
usu ADJ n
Our constitution embodies all the fundamental principles of democracy..., A fundamental human right is being withheld from these people...
2 adj You use fundamental to describe something which exists at a deep and basic level, and is therefore likely to continue.
usu ADJ n
But on this question, the two leaders have very fundamental differences...
3 adj If one thing is fundamental to another, it is absolutely necessary to it, and the second thing cannot exist, succeed, or be imagined without it.
v-link ADJ to n
The method they pioneered remains fundamental to research into the behaviour of nerve cells.
4 adj You can use fundamental to show that you are referring to what you consider to be the most important aspect of a situation, and that you are not concerned with less important details.
The fundamental problem lies in their inability to distinguish between reality and invention...
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"