simple

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English simple, from Old French and French simple, from Latin simplex (simple, literally onefold) (as opposed to duplex (double, literally twofold), from sim- (the same) + plicare (to fold). See same and fold. Compare single, singular, simultaneous, etc.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple (comparative simpler or more simple, superlative simplest or most simple)

  1. Uncomplicated; taken by itself, with nothing added.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      “[…] We are engaged in a great work, a treatise on our river fortifications, perhaps? But since when did army officers afford the luxury of amanuenses in this simple republic? []
    • 2001, Sydney I. Landau, Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography, Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-78512-X, page 167,
      There is no simple way to define precisely a complex arrangement of parts, however homely the object may appear to be.
  2. Without ornamentation; plain.
  3. Free from duplicity; guileless, innocent, straightforward.
    • John Marston (ca.1576-1634)
      Full many fine men go upon my score, as simple as I stand here, and I trust them.
    • Lord Byron (1788-1824)
      Must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue?
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
      To be simple is to be great.
  4. Undistinguished in social condition; of no special rank.
  5. (now rare) Trivial; insignificant.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book X:
      ‘That was a symple cause,’ seyde Sir Trystram, ‘for to sle a good knyght for seyynge well by his maystir.’
  6. (now colloquial) Feeble-minded; foolish.
  7. (heading, technical) Structurally uncomplicated.
    1. (chemistry) Consisting of one single substance; uncompounded.
    2. (mathematics) Of a group: having no normal subgroup.
    3. (botany) Not compound, but possibly lobed.
    4. (zoology) Consisting of a single individual or zooid; not compound.
      a simple ascidian
    5. (mineralogy) Homogenous.
  8. (obsolete) Mere; not other than; being only.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      A medicine [] whose simple touch / Is powerful to araise King Pepin.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

simple (plural simples)

  1. (medicine) A preparation made from one plant, as opposed to something made from more than one plant.
  2. (obsolete) A term for a physician, derived from the medicinal term above.
  3. (logic) A simple or atomic proposition.
  4. (obsolete) Something not mixed or compounded.
    • Shakespeare
      compounded of many simples
  5. (weaving) A drawloom.
  6. (weaving) Part of the apparatus for raising the heddles of a drawloom.
  7. (Roman Catholicism) A feast which is not a double or a semidouble.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

simple (third-person singular simple present simples, present participle simpling, simple past and past participle simpled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, archaic) To gather simples, i.e., medicinal herbs.

Derived terms[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: smile · walk · places · #709: simple · fresh · noble · appearance

Anagrams[edit]


Asturian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin simplex.

Adjective[edit]

simple (epicene, plural simples)

  1. simple (uncomplicated)

Synonyms[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin simplex.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple (masculine and feminine plural simples)

  1. simple (uncomplicated)
  2. single (not divided into parts)

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Esperanto[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From simpla +‎ -e.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈsimple/
  • Hyphenation: sim‧ple

Adverb[edit]

simple

  1. simply

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French, borrowed from Latin simplex.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple (plural simples)

  1. simple
    Un homme simple
    A simple man
  2. one-way
    Un billet simple
    A one-way ticket
  3. mere
    Un simple soldat
    A mere soldier

Usage notes[edit]

The first and second meanings are taken when the adjective is placed after the noun. The third meaning is taken when it is located before the noun.

Noun[edit]

simple m (plural simples)

  1. one-way ticket
  2. (baseball) single

Related terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Galician[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin simplex. Displaced Old Portuguese simplez.

Adjective[edit]

simple m, f (plural simples)

  1. simple

Latin[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple

  1. vocative masculine singular of simplus

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple

  1. definite singular of simpel
  2. plural of simpel

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple

  1. definite singular of simpel
  2. plural of simpel

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin simplex.

Adjective[edit]

simple m (oblique and nominative feminine singular simple)

  1. innocent
  2. mere; simple
  3. honest; without pretense
  4. peasant, pauper (attibutive)

Descendants[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple

  1. inflection of simplu:
    1. feminine plural nominative
    2. feminine plural accusative
    3. neuter plural nominative
    4. neuter plural accusative

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin simplex.

Adjective[edit]

simple (plural simples)

  1. simple
  2. mere, uncomplicated, easy
  3. (clarification of this definition is being sought) single
  4. insipid

Antonyms[edit]

Noun[edit]

simple m, f (plural simples)

  1. simpleton, fool
  2. (pharmacology, masculine only) simple

Swedish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of simpel.

German[edit]

Adjective[edit]

simple

  1. inflected form of simpel