- a first principle, element, or fundamental, as of a subject to be learned: usually used in pl.: the rudiments of physics
- a first slight beginning or appearance, or undeveloped form or stage, of something: usually used in pl.
- Biol. an incompletely developed organ or part; specif., a vestigial organ or part with no functional activity; vestige
Origin of rudimentClassical Latin rudimentum from rudis: see rude