• WordNet 3.6
    • adj simple easy and not involved or complicated "an elementary problem in statistics","elementary, my dear Watson","a simple game","found an uncomplicated solution to the problem"
    • adj simple apart from anything else; without additions or modifications "only the bare facts","shocked by the mere idea","the simple passage of time was enough","the simple truth"
    • adj simple unornamented "a simple country schoolhouse","her black dress--simple to austerity"
    • adj simple lacking mental capacity and subtlety
    • adj simple (botany) of leaf shapes; of leaves having no divisions or subdivisions
    • adj simple having few parts; not complex or complicated or involved "a simple problem","simple mechanisms","a simple design","a simple substance"
    • adj simple exhibiting childlike simplicity and credulity "childlike trust","dewy-eyed innocence","listened in round-eyed wonder"
    • n simple a person lacking intelligence or common sense
    • n simple any herbaceous plant having medicinal properties
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A smaller, more simple building than the House of Pansa A smaller, more simple building than the House of Pansa
Jamestown house types: simple frame, half-timber, brick, and row. (Conjectural sketches by Sidney E. King.) Jamestown house types: simple frame, half-timber, brick, and row. (Conjectural sketches by Sidney E. King.)
Simple Simon song Simple Simon song
A woman works outside one of the simple buildings A woman works outside one of the simple buildings
Simple Motor Simple Motor
Simple Microscope Simple Microscope

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: During the Gold Rush in 1849, some people paid as much as $100 for a simple glass of water
    • Simple (Weaving) A drawloom.
    • Simple (R. C. Ch) A feast which is not a double or a semidouble.
    • Simple (Med) A medicinal plant; -- so called because each vegetable was supposed to possess its particular virtue, and therefore to constitute a simple remedy. "What virtue is in this remedy lies in the naked simple itself as it comes over from the Indies."
    • Simple (Weaving) A part of the apparatus for raising the heddles of a drawloom.
    • Simple Artless in manner; unaffected; unconstrained; natural; inartificial;; straightforward. "In simple manners all the secret lies."
    • Simple (Zoöl) Consisting of a single individual or zooid; as, a simple ascidian; -- opposed to compound . "I am a simple woman, much too weak
      To oppose your cunning."
      "He is the companion of the silliest people in their most silly pleasure; he is ready for every impertinent entertainment and diversion."
    • Simple Direct; clear; intelligible; not abstruse or enigmatical; as, a simple statement; simple language.
    • Simple (Min) Homogenous.
    • Simple Humble; lowly; undistinguished. "A simple husbandman in garments gray.""Clergy and laity, male and female, gentle and simple made the fuel of the same fire."
    • Simple Mere; not other than; being only. "A medicine . . . whose simple touch
      Is powerful to araise King Pepin."
    • Simple (Chem) Not capable of being decomposed into anything more simple or ultimate by any means at present known; elementary; thus, atoms are regarded as simple bodies. Cf. Ultimate a.
    • Simple Not given to artifice, stratagem, or duplicity; undesigning; sincere; true. "Full many fine men go upon my score, as simple as I stand here, and I trust them.""Must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue?""To be simple is to be great."
    • Simple Not luxurious; without much variety; plain; as, a simple diet; a simple way of living. "Thy simple fare and all thy plain delights."
    • Simple Plain; unadorned; as, simple dress. "Simple truth.""His simple story."
    • Simple Single; not complex; not infolded or entangled; uncombined; not compounded; not blended with something else; not complicated; as, a simple substance; a simple idea; a simple sound; a simple machine; a simple problem; simple tasks.
    • Simple Something not mixed or compounded. "Compounded of many simples ."
    • v. i Simple To gather simples, or medicinal plants. "As simpling on the flowery hills she [Circe] strayed."
    • Simple Weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; of but moderate understanding or attainments; hence, foolish; silly. "You have simple wits.""The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going."
    • Simple (BOt) Without subdivisions; entire; as, a simple stem; a simple leaf.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: There is an organization called SCROOGE in Charlottesville, Virginia that stands for Society to Curtail Ridiculous, Outrageous, and Ostentatious Gift Exchanges. This was formed to keep gift giving affordable and simple
    • simple Without parts, either absolutely, or of a special kind alone considered; elementary; uncompounded: as, a simple substance; a simple concept; a simple distortion.
    • simple Having few parts; free from complexity or complication; uninvolved; not elaborate; not modified. Hence— Rudimentary; low in the scale of organization, as an animal or a plant. Compare defs. 10, 11.
    • simple Without elaborate and rich ornamentation; not loaded with extrinsic details; plain; beautiful, if at all, in its essential parts and their relations.
    • simple Without sauce or condiment; without luxurious or unwholesome accompaniments: as, a simple diet; a simple repast.
    • simple Mere; pure; sheer; absolute.
    • simple Plain in dress, manner, or deportment; hence, making no pretense; unaffected; unassuming; unsophisticated; artless; sincere.
    • simple Of little value or importance; insignificant; trifling.
    • simple Without rank; lowly; humble; poor.
    • simple Deficient in the mental effects of experience and education; unlearned; unsophisticated; hence, silly; incapable of understanding a situation of affairs; easily deceived.
    • simple Proceeding from ignorance or folly; evidencing a lack of sense or knowledge.
    • simple Presenting no difficulties or obstacles; easily done, used, understood, or the like; adapted to man's natural powers of acting or thinking; plain; clear; easy: as, a simple task; a simple statement; a simple explanation.
    • simple In music: Single; not compound: as, a simple sound or tone.
    • simple Undeveloped; not complex: as, simple counterpoint, fugue, imitation, rhythm, time.
    • simple Not exceeding an octave; not compound: as, a simple interval, third, fifth, etc.
    • simple Unbroken by valves or crooks: as, a simple tube in a trumpet.
    • simple In botany, not formed by a union of similar parts or groups of parts: thus, a simple pistil is of one carpel; a simple leaf is of one blade; a simple stem or trunk is one not divided at the base. Compare simple umbel, below.
    • simple In z oöl. and anatomy: Plain; entire; not varied, complicated, or appendaged. See simple-faced.
    • simple Single: not compound, social, or colonial: as, the simple ascidians; the simple (not compound) eyes or ocelli of an insect.
    • simple Normal or usual; ordinary; not duplex: as, the simple teeth of ordinary rodents. See simple-toothed.
    • simple In entomology, more particularly— Formed of one lobe, joint, etc.: as, a simple maxilla; the simple capitulum or club of an antenna.
    • simple Not specially enlarged, dilated, robust, etc.: as, simple femora, not fitted for leaping or not like a grasshopper's.
    • simple Entire; not dentate, serrate, emarginate, etc.; having no special processes, etc.: as, a simple margin.
    • simple Not sheathed or vaginate: as, a simple aculeus or sting.
    • simple In chem., that has not been decomposed or separated into chemically distinct kinds of matter; elementary. See element, 3.
    • simple In mineralogy, homogeneous.
    • simple The object of a simple concept.
    • simple That which is not composed of different things, especially not of matter and form, but is either pure matter or pure form
    • simple That which is not composed of different kinds of matter, as an element.
    • simple Later. a dissyllabic or trisyllabic foot, with inclusion of the pyrrhic (): opposed to a compound foot in the sense of a foot compounded of these. See pyrrhic.
    • simple A monomial.
    • simple Synonyms Unmixed, elementary.
    • simple Unstudied, unvarnished, naïve, frank, open, straightforward.
    • simple Simple, Silly, Dull, shallow, stupid, preposterous, inept, trifling, frivolous. Of the italicized words, stilly is more active; the others are more passive. The simple person is not only ignorant or lacking in practical wisdom, but unconscious of his own deficiencies, so that he is peculiarly liable to be duped. That which in the simple is unconsciousness is in the silly an active self-satisfaction or conceit: the simple may be taught wisdom by hard experience; the silly have much to unlearn as well. Silliness is a form of folly. (See absurd.) He who is dull has no edge upon his mind; his mind works into a subject with the slowness with which a dull knife cuts into a piece of wood, but his mind can perhaps be gradually sharpened, so that the dull boy becomes the keen man.
    • n simple That which is unmixed or uncompounded; a simple substance or constituent; an element.
    • n simple A medicinal herb, or a medicine obtained from an herb: so called because each vegetable was supposed to possess its particular virtue, and therefore to constitute a simple remedy: commonly in the plural.
    • n simple A person of low birth or estate: used chiefly in contrast with gentle: as, gentle and simple.
    • n simple plural Foolish or silly behavior; foolishness: as, to have a fit of the simples.
    • n simple A draw-loom.
    • n simple A set of short dependent cords, with terminal bobs, attached to the tail of a part of the harness in a draw-loom, worked by the draw-boy.
    • n simple Eccles., a simple feast.
    • simple To gather simples, or medicinal plants.
    • n simple In French boston, or in heart solo, the winning of five tricks with a partner.
    • n simple In division loo, a pool which has been put up by the dealer alone. Pools which have been contributed to by players who have been looed are double pools.
    • simple To make (the second or low-pressure cylinder of a compound engine) receive live steam direct from the boiler, instead of receiving its working fluid as exhaust from the first or high-pressure cylinder, as in normal series-working. This is done in starting, or occasionally with unusual overload on the engine, and the two cylinders work as two simple engines.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The city of St. Petersburg, Russia, was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, hence the name, St. Petersburg. But it wasn't always that simple. In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, Russian leaders felt that Petersburg was too German-sounding. So they changed the name of the city to Petrograd -to make it more Russian-sounding. Then, in 1924, the country's Soviet Communist leaders wanted to honor the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir I. Lenin. The city of Petrograd became Leningrad and was known as Leningrad until 1991 when the new Russian legislators -no longer Soviet Communists -wanted the city to reflect their change of government.
    • adj Simple sim′pl single: undivided: resisting decomposition: elementary, undeveloped: plain, single, entire: homogeneous: open: unaffected: undesigning: true: clear: straightforward: artless: guileless: unsuspecting: credulous: not cunning: weak in intellect: silly: of mean birth—opposed to Gentle
    • n Simple something not mixed or compounded: a medicinal herb: a simple feast—opposed to a double or semidouble
    • v.i Simple to gather simples or medicinal plants
    • ***


  • O. Henry Porter
    O. Henry Porter
    “It was beautiful and simple as all truly great swindles are.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “It is very hard to be simple enough to be good.”
  • Euripides
    “The language of truth is simple.”
  • Michael Leunig
    Michael Leunig
    “Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that.”
  • Lyall Watson
    Lyall Watson
    “If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.”
  • Albert Einstein
    “When the solution is simple, God is answering.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. simplus, or simplex, gen. simplicis,. The first part of the Latin words is probably akin to E. same, and the sense, one, one and the same; cf. L. semel, once, singuli, one to each, single. Cg. Single (a.) Same (a.), and for the last part of the word cf. Double Complex


In literature:

We shall be simple and frugal.
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
For Nature is simple, and does not abound in superfluous causes.
"Aether and Gravitation" by William George Hooper
A simple substance would have to occupy a simple portion of space; but space has no simple parts.
"The World's Greatest Books--Volume 14--Philosophy and Economics" by Various
The reply is simple and significant.
"The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)" by Leslie Stephen
He lived in a simple and primitive style.
"In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
One of the simple mechanical powers, used in determining the weights and masses of different bodies.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
It appealed to simple feelings.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
He smiled and patted the dark man's free arm, feeling foolish about his simple words of gratitude.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
Under such circumstances a simple nod would be a slight towards her.
"Social Life" by Maud C. Cooke
THIS Chapter will be devoted to the construction of very simple types of boats.
"Boys' Book of Model Boats" by Raymond Francis Yates

In poetry:

Children are simple--loving--true;
'Tis Heaven that made them so;
And would you teach them--be so too--
And stoop to what they know.
"The Teacher's Lesson" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich
Forget thee! no, not I indeed—
The time appears as yesterday,
And thoughts bring back again with speed
The simple words we used to say.
"Forget Thee" by Benjamin Cutler Clark
"The simple tastes, the kindly traits,
The tranquil air, and gentle speech,
The silence of the soul that waits
For more than man to teach.
"My Namesake" by John Greenleaf Whittier
And thanks that from our daily need
The joy of simple faith is born;
That he who smites the summer weed,
May trust Thee for the autumn corn.
"A Song Of Harvest" by John Greenleaf Whittier
But still when I read of Gretchen,
So simple, and pure, and fair,
And her dear love-dream in the garden,
Ere the heart felt the deeper snare:
"Gretchen" by Alexander Anderson
Here followed she her gardening trade,
Her favourites' simple needs attending,
And singing soft, above them bending,
A song herself had made.
"Kadisha; Or, The First Jealousy" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore

In news:

In the more simple days of selling, advertising sales executives dealt in print, closing deals on a monthly cycle.
Simple economics to the rescue.
A Quick, Simple Fire Extinguisher.
And stores and on it's really a simple process.
These chunky, cheerful bangles are so simple, you can wear them the day you make them.
Banish Twitter Spam by Following Three Simple Rules.
Designed for simple fabrication, Bill Warwick's Bantam uses no compound curves and very few simple ones.
It's not a simple matter to define exactly what this book is.
The eurozone crisis explained in 5 simple graphs.
Making some simple design and lifestyle changes at home can lead to a healthier heart.
Let's look at something simple like an equipment calibration report.
In episode 12 of Corn College TV season 2, Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer walks through a simple calibration process for center pivots.
But I have found, over the years, there are some very simple steps the technician can perform that will virtually cut his callbacks to almost nothing.
Dropcam IP camera makes live streaming a snap with simple installation and a handy accompanying Android or iPhone app.
The reason is simple according to administrators: bad behavior.

In science:

If the conformal superalgebra R is not simple then the Lie superalgebra associated to R is not simple.
Algebraic structures on quasi-primary states in superconformal algebras
We can either have a simple f (x, y ) or a simple f −1 (x, y ).
Hopping between Random Locations: Spectrum and Instanton
Since the equivalence is simple this isomorphism is also simple.
Dual 2-complexes in 4-manifolds
Since the chain map is simple and the other degrees are basis-preserving, this isomorphism is simple.
Dual 2-complexes in 4-manifolds
In this section we describe a simple randomized algorithm that solves the 1D all-layers simple-fold problem in O(n) time.
When Can You Fold a Map?