1. [syn: simple eye, stemma, ocellus]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Simple \Sim"ple\, a. [Compar. Simpler; superl. Simplest.]
[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.]
1. 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;
2. Plain; unadorned; as, simple dress. "Simple truth."
--Spenser. "His simple story." --Burns.
3. Mere; not other than; being only.
A medicine . . . whose simple touch
Is powerful to araise King Pepin. --Shak.
4. 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. --Marston.
Must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue? --Byron.
To be simple is to be great. --Emerson.
5. Artless in manner; unaffected; unconstrained; natural;
In simple manners all the secret lies. --Young.
6. Direct; clear; intelligible; not abstruse or enigmatical;
as, a simple statement; simple language.
7. Weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; of but moderate
understanding or attainments; hence, foolish; silly. "You
have simple wits." --Shak.
The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man
looketh well to his going. --Prov. xiv.
8. Not luxurious; without much variety; plain; as, a simple
diet; a simple way of living.
Thy simple fare and all thy plain delights.
9. Humble; lowly; undistinguished.
A simple husbandman in garments gray. --Spenser.
Clergy and laity, male and female, gentle and simple
made the fuel of the same fire. --Fuller.
10. (BOt.) Without subdivisions; entire; as, a simple stem; a
11. (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.
Note: A simple body is one that has not as yet been
decomposed. There are indications that many of our
simple elements are still compound bodies, though their
actual decomposition into anything simpler may never be
12. (Min.) Homogenous.
13. (Zool.) Consisting of a single individual or zooid; as, a
simple ascidian; -- opposed to compound.
Simple contract (Law), any contract, whether verbal or
written, which is not of record or under seal. --J. W.
Simple equation (Alg.), an equation containing but one
unknown quantity, and that quantity only in the first
Simple eye (Zool.), an eye having a single lens; -- opposed
to compound eye.
Simple interest. See under Interest.
Simple larceny. (Law) See under Larceny.
Simple obligation (Rom. Law), an obligation which does not
depend for its execution upon any event provided for by
the parties, or is not to become void on the happening of
any such event. --Burrill.
Syn: Single; uncompounded; unmingled; unmixed; mere;
uncombined; elementary; plain; artless; sincere;
harmless; undesigning; frank; open; unaffected;
inartificial; unadorned; credulous; silly; foolish;
Usage: Simple, Silly. One who is simple is sincere,
unaffected, and inexperienced in duplicity, -- hence
liable to be duped. A silly person is one who is
ignorant or weak and also self-confident; hence, one
who shows in speech and act a lack of good sense.
Simplicity is incompatible with duplicity, artfulness,
or vanity, while silliness is consistent with all
three. Simplicity denotes lack of knowledge or of
guile; silliness denotes want of judgment or right
purpose, a defect of character as well as of
I am a simple woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning. --Shak.
He is the companion of the silliest people in
their most silly pleasure; he is ready for every
impertinent entertainment and diversion. --Law.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: an eye having a single lens [syn: simple eye, stemma,