Etymology
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fundamental (adj.)

mid-15c., "primary, original, pertaining to a foundation," modeled on Late Latin fundamentalis "of the foundation," from Latin fundamentum "foundation" (see fundament). In music (1732) it refers to the lowest note of a chord. Fundamentals (n.) "primary principles or rules" of anything is from 1630s.

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Definitions of fundamental
1
fundamental (adj.)
serving as an essential component;
an example that was fundamental to the argument
computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure
Synonyms: cardinal / central / key / primal
fundamental (adj.)
being or involving basic facts or principles;
a fundamental incompatibility between them
the fundamental laws of the universe
Synonyms: rudimentary / underlying
fundamental (adj.)
far-reaching and thoroughgoing in effect especially on the nature of something;
the book underwent fundamental changes
committed the fundamental error of confusing spending with extravagance
the fundamental revolution in human values that has occurred
Synonyms: profound
2
fundamental (n.)
any factor that could be considered important to the understanding of a particular business;
fundamentals include a company's growth, revenues, earnings, management, and capital structure
fundamental (n.)
the lowest tone of a harmonic series;
Synonyms: fundamental frequency / first harmonic
From wordnet.princeton.edu