simplest; simpler; simples

Simple refers to something that's easy and uncomplicated, without too many steps to follow.

Simple comes from the Latin word for single (simplus). Simple things are often solo, like a simple dress or directions with one step. A teacher might advise you to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). What could be bad about a word for something easy? Well, it's not that simple. It can be an insult. If you call your little brother simple when he can't tie his shoes, you mean he isn't very smart. Rude!

Definitions of simple
  1. adjective
    having few parts; not complex or complicated or involved
    “a simple problem”
    simple mechanisms”
    “a simple design”
    “a simple substance”
    posing no difficulty; requiring little effort
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
    (botany) of leaf shapes; of leaves having no divisions or subdivisions
    having only one part or element
    characterized by extreme and often misleading simplicity
    unanalyzable, undecomposable
    representing the furthest possible extent of analysis or division into parts
    uncomplicated, unsophisticated
    lacking complexity
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    complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts
    difficult, hard
    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
    composed of more than one part
    analyzable, decomposable
    capable of being partitioned
    Byzantine, convoluted, involved, knotty, tangled, tortuous
    highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious
    colonial, compound
    composed of many distinct individuals united to form a whole or colony
    difficult to analyze or understand
    consisting of separate interconnected parts
    consisting of two or more substances or ingredients or elements or parts
    complex and ingenious in design or function
    extremely intricate; usually in phrase `Gordian knot'
    interlacing, interlinking, interlocking, interwoven
    linked or locked closely together as by dovetailing
    having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
    labyrinthian, labyrinthine, mazy
    resembling a labyrinth in form or complexity
    involving or depending on several factors or causes (especially pertaining to a condition or disease resulting from the interaction of many genes)
    having many parts or aspects
    becoming more intricate or complex
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  2. adjective
    apart from anything else; without additions or modifications
    “the simple passage of time was enough”
    “the simple truth”
    synonyms: bare, mere
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
  3. adjective
    easy and not involved or complicated
    “a simple game”
    synonyms: elementary, uncomplicated, unproblematic
    posing no difficulty; requiring little effort
  4. adjective
    “a simple country schoolhouse”
    “her black dress-- simple to austerity”
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
  5. adjective
    exhibiting childlike simplicity and credulity
    synonyms: childlike, dewy-eyed, round-eyed, wide-eyed
    naif, naive
    marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience
  6. adjective
    lacking mental capacity and subtlety
  7. adjective
    (botany) of leaf shapes; of leaves having no divisions or subdivisions
    synonyms: unsubdivided
    acerate, acerose, acicular, needle-shaped
    narrow and long and pointed; as pine leaves
    (of a leaf shape) narrowing to a slender point
    (of a leaf shape) having a short sharply pointed tip
    (of a leaf shape) tapering gradually into a long taillike tip
    cordate, cordiform, heart-shaped
    (of a leaf) shaped like a heart
    cuneate, wedge-shaped
    (of a leaf shape) narrowly triangular, wider at the apex and tapering toward the base
    triangular or suggesting a capital delta, with a point at the apex
    dolabrate, dolabriform
    having the shape of the head of an ax or cleaver
    (of a leaf shape) in the form of an ellipse
    bladelike, ensiform, sword-shaped, swordlike
    shaped like a sword blade
    hastate, spearhead-shaped
    (of a leaf shape) like a spear point, with flaring pointed lobes at the base
    lancelike, lanceolate
    (of a leaf shape) shaped like a lance head; narrow and tapering to a pointed apex
    elongate, linear
    (of a leaf shape) long and narrow
    (of a leaf shape) having curvature suggestive of a lyre
    of trees whose leaves are acerate
    (of conifers) having two needles
    (of conifers) having three needles
    (of conifers) having four needles
    (of conifers) having five needles
    (of a leaf shape) rounded at the apex
    (of a leaf shape) having a broad rounded apex and a tapering base
    (of a leaf shape) having a somewhat elongated form with approximately parallel sides
    (of a leaf shape) egg-shaped with the narrower end at the base
    orbicular, orbiculate
    circular or nearly circular
    of a leaf shape; egg-shaped with the broader end at the base
    fiddle-shaped, pandurate, panduriform
    (of a leaf shape) having rounded ends and a contracted center
    peltate, shield-shaped
    (of a leaf shape) round, with the stem attached near the center of the lower surface rather than the margin (as a nasturtium leaf for example)
    (of a leaf) having the base united around (and apparently pierced by) the stem
    kidney-shaped, reniform
    (of a leaf or bean shape) resembling the shape of kidney
    arrow-shaped, sagittate, sagittiform
    (of a leaf shape) like an arrow head without flaring base lobes
    spatula-shaped, spatulate
    (of a leaf shape) having a broad rounded apex and a narrow base
    without lobes
    of the margin of a leaf shape; not broken up into teeth
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    composed of more than one part
    bilobate, bilobated, bilobed
    having two lobes
    growing in two parts or in pairs
    divided into two portions almost to the base
    of a leaf shape; having doubly pinnate leaflets (as ferns)
    pinnatifid with the segments also pinnatifid
    cleft, dissected
    having one or more incisions reaching nearly to the midrib
    (of a pinnate leaflet) having only one pair of leaflets
    of a compound leaf; consisting of divisions that are themselves compound
    abruptly-pinnate, even-pinnate, paripinnate
    (of a leaf shape) pinnate with a pair of leaflets at the apex
    sharply and deeply indented
    lobate, lobed
    having deeply indented margins but with lobes not entirely separate from each other
    imparipinnate, odd-pinnate
    (a leaf shape) pinnate with a single leaflet at the apex
    palm-shaped, palmate
    of a leaf shape; having leaflets or lobes radiating from a common point
    of a leaf shape; palmately cleft rather than lobed
    having a margin incised almost to the base so as to create distinct divisions or lobes
    of a leaf shape; having radiating lobes, each deeply cleft or divided
    pinnate, pinnated
    (of a leaf shape) featherlike; having leaflets on each side of a common axis
    (of a leaf shape) cleft nearly to the midrib in broad divisions not separated into distinct leaflets
    (of a leaf shape) cleft nearly to the midrib in narrow divisions not separated into distinct leaflets
    (of a leaf shape) having five leaflets
    having rays or ray-like parts as in the flower heads of daisies
    (of a leaf shape) consisting of three leaflets or sections
    trifoliate, trifoliated, trifoliolate
    (of a leaf shape) having three leaflets
    three-lobed, trilobate, trilobated, trilobed
    (of a leaf shape) divided into three lobes
    tripinnate, tripinnated
    (of a leaf shape) thrice pinnate
    (of a leaf shape) bipinnatifid with segments pinnatifid
    complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts
    of the margin of a leaf shape; not broken up into teeth
    of the margin of a leaf shape; having the edge cut or fringed or scalloped
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  8. noun
    a person lacking intelligence or common sense
    synonyms: simpleton
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    show 27 types...
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    a flighty scatterbrained simpleton
    dimwit, doofus, half-wit, nitwit
    a stupid incompetent person
    a silly empty-headed person
    boob, booby, dope, dumbbell, dummy, pinhead
    an ignorant or foolish person
    fool, muggins, sap, saphead, tomfool
    a person who lacks good judgment
    changeling, cretin, half-wit, idiot, imbecile, moron
    a person of subnormal intelligence
    nebbech, nebbish
    (Yiddish) a timid unfortunate simpleton
    nincompoop, ninny, poop
    a stupid foolish person
    forgetful person, scatterbrain
    a flighty and disorganized person
    schlemiel, shlemiel
    (Yiddish) a dolt who is a habitual bungler
    schlep, schlepper, shlep, shlepper
    (Yiddish) an awkward and stupid person
    schnook, shnook
    (Yiddish) a gullible simpleton more to be pitied than despised
    a timid defenseless simpleton who is readily preyed upon
    space cadet
    someone who seems unable to respond appropriately to reality (as if under the influence of some narcotic drug)
    someone who doesn't understand what is going on
    dolt, dullard, pillock, poor fish, pudden-head, pudding head, stupe, stupid, stupid person
    a person who is not very bright
    twerp, twirp
    someone who is regarded as contemptible
    a stupid person who is easy to take advantage of
    buffoon, clown
    a rude or vulgar fool
    blockhead, bonehead, dunce, dunderhead, hammerhead, knucklehead, loggerhead, lunkhead, muttonhead, numskull
    a stupid person; these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence
    flibbertigibbet, foolish woman
    a foolish, flighty, and overly talkative person
    bozo, cuckoo, fathead, goof, goofball, goose, zany
    a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
    (Yiddish) a clumsy dolt
    meshuggeneh, meshuggener
    (Yiddish) a crazy fool
    a learned fool
    (Yiddish) a fool; an idiot
    a silly and inept person; someone who is regarded as stupid
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
  9. noun
    any herbaceous plant having medicinal properties
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    type of:
    herb, herbaceous plant
    a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘simple'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Commonly confused words

simple / simplistic

Simple isn't the same as simplistic. Being simplistic means trying to explain something complicated as being simpler than it is; that is, oversimplifying.

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Word Family

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