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1. often rudiments
a. A fundamental element, principle, or skill, as of a field of learning: the rudiments of calculus.
b. Something in an incipient or undeveloped form: the rudiments of social behavior in children; the rudiments of a plan of action.
2. Biology An imperfectly or incompletely developed organ or part.
[Latin rudīmentum, from rudis, rough, unformed.]
ru′di·men′tal (-mĕn′tl) adj.