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element

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noun [countable] American English pronunciation: element /ˈelɪmənt/ 
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singularelement
pluralelements
 
  1. 1
    an important basic part of something complicated, for example a system or plan
    an important/essential element:

    Our new management system includes two essential elements.

    element in:

    Advertising is not the only element in the marketing process.

    element of:

    Fieldwork is a key element of this course.

    1. a.
      one set of people in a group or organization

      The article reflected the views of extreme right-wing elements in the party.

  2. 3
    [singular] a small but important amount of a particular quality or feeling
    element of:

    There is an element of truth in what she said.

    The element of surprise could be one of our best weapons.

  3. 6

    the elements

    [plural] the weather, especially wind and rain

    The hood provides added protection against the elements.

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