Rudiment, usually used in the plural, means the basics. If you know the alphabet, you have the rudiments of reading at your disposal.

You might learn the rudiments of cooking from your mother, but you won't become an expert until you spend time in your own kitchen. In biology, the word rudiment means an undeveloped part of an organ or limb, like you would find in an embryo or fetus.

Definitions of rudiment

n the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural)

“he mastered only the rudiments of geometry”
ABC, ABC's, ABCs, alphabet, first principle, first rudiment
Type of:
basic principle, basics, bedrock, fundamental principle, fundamentals
principles from which other truths can be derived

n the remains of a body part that was functional at an earlier stage of life

“Meckel's diverticulum is the rudiment of the embryonic yolk sac”
Type of:
body part
any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity

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