element - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  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.

  2. 2
    chemistry a substance that consists of only one type of atom
  3. 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.

  4. 5
    earth, air, fire, or water, considered in the past to be the substances that all things were made of