late 14c., "having the nature of one of the four elements," from Latin elementarius "belonging to the elements or rudiments," from elementum (see element). Meaning "rudimentary, involving first principles" is from 1540s; meaning "simple" is from 1620s. In elementary school (1841) it has the "rudimentary" sense.
name of a chemical antagonistic to narcotics, 1964, from elements of N-allynoroxymorphone.
compound organic chemical, 1959, from DOPA, the amino acid (from first letter of elements of dioxyphenylalanine), + amine.