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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2018
sim•ple /ˈsɪmpəl/USA pronunciation   adj.,  -pler, -plest, n. 
  1. easy to understand or deal with;
    not hard to do:a simple problem.[It + be + ~ + to + verb]It was simple to solve her problems.
  2. not elaborate or complicated;
    plain:a simple design.
  3. not ornate or luxurious;
    unadorned:a simple dress.
  4. unassuming;
    sincere:He's a simple man.
  5. occurring or considered alone;
    bare:[before a noun]the simple truth.
  6. common or ordinary:[before a noun]a simple soldier.
  7. not grand or sophisticated:simple tastes.
  8. humble or lowly:simple folk.
  9. lacking mental sharpness:a simple, dull-witted peasant.
  10. mentally deficient.
  11. Chemistry
    • made of only one substance or element:a simple substance.
  12. Botanynot divided into parts:a simple leaf.
  13. Grammar(of a sentence) having only one subject and verb (as opposed to compound):The sentences John likes Mary and John and Bill like Mary are simple sentences.
sim•ple•ness, n. [uncountable]See -plic-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2018
sim•ple  (simpəl),USA pronunciation adj.,  -pler, -plest, n. 
  1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.:a simple matter; simple tools.
  2. not elaborate or artificial;
    plain:a simple style.
  3. not ornate or luxurious;
    unadorned:a simple gown.
  4. unaffected;
    modest:a simple manner.
  5. not complicated:a simple design.
  6. not complex or compound;
  7. occurring or considered alone;
    bare:the simple truth; a simple fact.
  8. free of deceit or guile;
    unconditional:a frank, simple answer.
  9. common or ordinary:a simple soldier.
  10. not grand or sophisticated;
    unpretentious:a simple way of life.
  11. humble or lowly:simple folk.
  12. inconsequential or rudimentary.
  13. unlearned;
  14. lacking mental acuteness or sense:a simple way of thinking.
  15. unsophisticated;
  16. simpleminded.
  17. Chemistry
    • composed of only one substance or element:a simple substance.
    • not mixed.
  18. Botanynot divided into parts:a simple leaf; a simple stem.
  19. Zoologynot compound:a simple ascidian.
  20. Music and Danceuncompounded or without overtones;
    single:simple tone.
  21. Grammarhaving only the head without modifying elements included:The simple subject of "The dappled pony gazed over the fence'' is "pony.''Cf.  complete (def. 5).
  22. Grammar(of a verb tense) consisting of a main verb with no auxiliaries, as takes (simple present) or stood (simple past) (opposed to compound).
  23. Mathematicslinear (def. 7).
  24. Optics(of a lens) having two optical surfaces only.

  1. an ignorant, foolish, or gullible person.
  2. something simple, unmixed, or uncompounded.
  3. Textilessimples, cords for controlling the warp threads in forming the shed on draw-looms.
  4. a person of humble origins;
  5. Drugsan herb or other plant used for medicinal purposes:country simples.
simple•ness, n. 
  • Late Latin simplus simple, Latin (in simpla pecunia simple fee or sum), equivalent. to sim- one (see simplex) + -plus, as in duplus duple, double (see -fold); cognate with Greek háplos (see haplo-); (noun, nominal) Middle English: commoner, derivative of the adjective, adjectival
  • Old French
  • (adjective, adjectival) Middle English 1175–1225
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged clear, intelligible, understandable, unmistakable, lucid.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged natural, unembellished, neat.
    • 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged artless, guileless, ingenuous.
    • 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  homely. 
    • 12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged trifling, trivial, nonessential, unnecessary.
    • 13.See corresponding entry in Unabridged untutored, stupid.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

simple /ˈsɪmpəl/ adj
  1. not involved or complicated; easy to understand or do: a simple problem
  2. plain; unadorned: a simple dress
  3. consisting of one element or part only; not combined or complex: a simple mechanism
  4. unaffected or unpretentious: although he became famous, he remained a simple and well-liked man
  5. not guileful; sincere; frank: her simple explanation was readily accepted
  6. of humble condition or rank: the peasant was of simple birth
  7. weak in intelligence; feeble-minded
  8. (prenominal) without additions or modifications; mere: the witness told the simple truth
  9. (prenomina) ordinary or straightforward: a simple case of mumps
  10. (of a substance or material) consisting of only one chemical compound rather than a mixture of compounds
  11. (of a fraction) containing only integers
  12. (of an equation) containing variables to the first power only; linear
  13. not divided into parts: a simple leaf, a simple eye
  14. formed from only one ovary: simple fruit
  15. relating to or denoting a time where the number of beats per bar may be two, three, or four
n archaic
  1. a simpleton; fool
  2. a plant, esp a herbaceous plant, having medicinal properties
Etymology: 13th Century: via Old French from Latin simplex plain

ˈsimpleness n


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