RU'DIMENT, noun [Latin rudimentum. If connected with erudio, it denotes what is taught. But the real origin is not obvious.]
1. A first principle or element; that which is to be first learnt; as the rudiments of learning or science. Articulate sounds are the rudiments of language; letters or characters are the rudiments of written language; the primary rules of any art or science are its rudiments. Hence instruction in the rudiments of any art or science, constitutes the beginning of education in that art or science.
2. The original of any thing in its first form. Thus in botany, the germen, ovary or seed-bud, is the rudiment of the fruit yet in embryo; and the seed is the rudiment of a new plant.
Rudiment, in natural history, is also an imperfect organ; one which is never fully formed. Thus the flowers in the genus Pentstemon, have four stamens and a rudiment of a fifth, (a simple filament without an anther.)
God beholds the first imperfect rudiments of virtue in the soul.
RU'DIMENT, verb transitive to furnish with first principles or rules; to ground; to settle in first principles.