—adj. 1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools. 2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style. 3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown. 4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner. 5. not complicated: a simple design. 6. not complex or compound; single.
7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact. 8. free of deceit or guile; sincere; unconditional: a frank, simple answer. 9. common or ordinary: a simple soldier. 10. not grand or sophisticated; unpretentious: a simple way of life. 11. humble or lowly: simple folk. 12. inconsequential or rudimentary.
13. unlearned; ignorant.
14. lacking mental acuteness or sense: a simple way of thinking. 15. unsophisticated; naive; credulous.
17. Chem. a. composed of only one substance or element: a simple substance. b. not mixed.
18. Bot.not divided into parts: a simple leaf; a simple stem. 19. Zool.not compound: a simple ascidian. 20. Music.uncompounded or without overtones; single: simple tone. 21. Gram.having only the head without modifying elements included: The simple subject of “The dappled pony gazed over the fence” is “pony.” Cf. complete (def. 5).
22. (of a verb tense) consisting of a main verb with no auxiliaries, as takes (simple present) or stood (simple past) (opposed to compound).
23. Math.linear (def. 7).
24. Optics.(of a lens) having two optical surfaces only.
—n. 1. an ignorant, foolish, or gullible person.
2. something simple, unmixed, or uncompounded.
3. simples,Textiles.cords for controlling the warp threads in forming the shed on draw-looms.
4. a person of humble origins; commoner.
5. an herb or other plant used for medicinal purposes: country simples.