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Webster 1913 Edition


Simple

Sim′ple

,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Simpler
;
sup
erl.
Simplest
.]
[F., fr. L.
simplus
, or
simplex
, gen.
simplicis
. The first part of the Latin words is probably akin to E.
same
, and the sense, one, one and the same; cf. L.
semel
once,
singuli
one to each, single. Cg.
Single
,
Adj.
,
Same
,
Adj.
, and for the last part of the word cf.
Double
,
Complex
.]
1.
Single; not complex; not infolded or entangled; uncombined; not compounded; not blended with something else; not complicated;
as, a
simple
substance; a
simple
idea; a
simple
sound; a
simple
machine; a
simple
problem;
simple
tasks.
2.
Plain; unadorned;
as,
simple
dress
.
Simple truth.”
Spenser.
“His simple story.”
Burns.
3.
Mere; not other than; being only.
A medicine . . . whose
simple
touch
Is powerful to araise King Pepin.
Shakespeare
4.
Not given to artifice, stratagem, or duplicity; undesigning; sincere; true.
Full many fine men go upon my score, as
simple
as I stand here, and I trust them.
Marston.
Must thou trust Tradition’s
simple
tongue?
Byron.
To be simple is to be great.
Emerson.
5.
Artless in manner; unaffected; unconstrained; natural; inartificial;; straightforward.
In
simple
manners all the secret lies.
Young.
6.
Direct; clear; intelligible; not abstruse or enigmatical;
as, a
simple
statement;
simple
language
.
7.
Weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; of but moderate understanding or attainments; hence, foolish; silly.
“You have simple wits.”
Shak.
The
simple
believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
Prov. xiv. 15.
8.
Not luxurious; without much variety; plain;
as, a
simple
diet; a
simple
way of living
.
Thy
simple
fare and all thy plain delights.
Cowper.
9.
Humble; lowly; undistinguished.
A
simple
husbandman in garments gray.
Spenser.
Clergy and laity, male and female, gentle and
simple
made the fuel of the same fire.
Fuller.
10.
(BOt.)
Without subdivisions; entire;
as, a
simple
stem; a
simple
leaf
.
11.
(Chem.)
Not capable of being decomposed into anything more simple or ultimate by any means at present known; elementary; thus, atoms are regarded as simple bodies. Cf.
Ultimate
,
Adj.
☞ A simple body is one that has not as yet been decomposed. There are indications that many of our simple elements are still compound bodies, though their actual decomposition into anything simpler may never be accomplished.
12.
(Min.)
Homogenous.
13.
(Zool.)
Consisting of a single individual or zooid;
as, a
simple
ascidian; – opposed to
compound
.
Simple contract
(Law)
,
any contract, whether verbal or written, which is not of record or under seal.
J. W. Smith.
Chitty.
Simple equation
(Alg.)
,
an equation containing but one unknown quantity, and that quantity only in the first degree.
Simple eye
(Zool.)
,
an eye having a single lens; – opposed to
compound eye
.
Simple interest
.
See under
Interest
.
Simple larceny
.
(Law)
See under
Larceny
.
Simple obligation
(Rom. Law)
,
an obligation which does not depend for its execution upon any event provided for by the parties, or is not to become void on the happening of any such event.
Burrill.
Syn. – Single; uncompounded; unmingled; unmixed; mere; uncombined; elementary; plain; artless; sincere; harmless; undesigning; frank; open; unaffected; inartificial; unadorned; credulous; silly; foolish; shallow; unwise.
Simple
,
Silly
. One who is simple is sincere, unaffected, and inexperienced in duplicity, – hence liable to be duped. A silly person is one who is ignorant or weak and also self-confident; hence, one who shows in speech and act a lack of good sense. Simplicity is incompatible with duplicity, artfulness, or vanity, while silliness is consistent with all three. Simplicity denotes lack of knowledge or of guile; silliness denotes want of judgment or right purpose, a defect of character as well as of education.
I am a
simple
woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning.
Shakespeare
He is the companion of the
silliest
people in their most
silly
pleasure; he is ready for every impertinent entertainment and diversion.
Law.

Sim′ple

,
Noun.
[F. See
Simple
,
Adj.
]
1.
Something not mixed or compounded.
“Compounded of many simples.”
Shak.
2.
(Med.)
A medicinal plant; – so called because each vegetable was supposed to possess its particular virtue, and therefore to constitute a simple remedy.
What virtue is in this remedy lies in the naked
simple
itself as it comes over from the Indies.
Sir W. Temple.
3.
(Weaving)
(a)
A drawloom.
(b)
A part of the apparatus for raising the heddles of a drawloom.
4.
(R. C. Ch.)
A feast which is not a double or a semidouble.

Sim′ple

,
Verb.
I.
To gather simples, or medicinal plants.
As
simpling
on the flowery hills she [Circe] strayed.
Garth.

Webster 1828 Edition


Simple

SIM'PLE

,
Adj.
[L. simplex; sine, without and plex, plica, doubling, fold;]
1.
Single; consisting of one thing; uncompounded; unmingled; uncombined with any thing else; as a simple substance; a simple idea; a simple sound.
2.
Plain; artless; not given to design, stratagem or duplicity; undesigning; sincere; harmless. A simple husbandman in garments gray.
3.
Artless; unaffected; unconstrained; inartificial; plain. In simple manners all the secret lies.
4.
Unadorned; plain; as a simple style or narration; a simple dress.
5.
Not complex or complicated; as a machine of simple construction.
6.
Weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; silly. The simple believeth every word; but the prudent looketh well to his going. Prov. 14.
7.
In botany, undivided, as a root, stem or spike; only one on a petiole, as a simple leaf; only one on a peduncle, as a simple flower; having only one set of rays, as an umbel; having only one row of leaflets, as a simple calyx; not plumose or fathered, as a pappus. A simple body, in chemisty, is one that has not been decomposed, or separated into two or more bodies.

SIM'PLE

,
Noun.
Something not mixed or compounded. in the materia medica, the genral denomination of an herb or plant. as each vegetable is supposed to possess its particular virtue, and therefore to constitute a simple remedy.

SIM'PLE

,
Verb.
I.
To gather simples or plants. As simpling on the flowery hills he stray'd.

Definition 2021


simple

simple

English

Adjective

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

  • (consisting of a single part or aspect): onefold
  • (having few parts or features): plain
  • See also Wikisaurus:easy and Wikisaurus:bare-bones

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

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 Catholic) A feast which is not a double or a semidouble.

Translations

Verb

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

Statistics

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

Anagrams


Asturian

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin simplex.

Adjective

simple (epicene, plural simples)

  1. simple (uncomplicated)

Synonyms


Catalan

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin simplex.

Pronunciation

  • (Balearic) IPA(key): /ˈsim.plə/
  • (Central) IPA(key): /ˈsim.plə/
  • (Valencian) IPA(key): /ˈsim.ple/

Adjective

simple m, f (masculine and feminine plural simples)

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

Synonyms

Derived terms

  • fulla simple (simple leaf)
  • simplement (simply)

Related terms


Esperanto

Etymology

simpla + -e

Pronunciation

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

Adverb

simple

  1. simply

French

Etymology

From Old French, borrowed from Latin simplex.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /sɛ̃pl/

Adjective

simple m, f (plural simples)

  1. simple
  2. one-way
    Un billet simple.
    A one-way ticket.

Noun

simple m (plural simples)

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

Related terms

Anagrams


Galician

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin simplex.Displaced Old Portuguese simplez

Adjective

simple m, f (plural simples)

  1. simple

Latin

Adjective

simple

  1. vocative masculine singular of simplus

Norwegian Bokmål

Adjective

simple

  1. definite singular of simpel
  2. plural form of simpel

Norwegian Nynorsk

Adjective

simple

  1. definite singular of simpel
  2. plural form of simpel

Old French

Alternative forms

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin simplex.

Adjective

simple m (oblique and nominative feminine singular simple)

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

Descendants


Romanian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [ˈsim.ple]

Adjective

simple

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

Spanish

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin simplex.

Adjective

simple m, f (plural simples)

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

Antonyms

Noun

simple m, f (plural simples)

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

Swedish

Adjective

simple

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of simpel.