Ru"di*ment (?), n. [L. rudimentum, fr. rudis unwrought, ignorant, rude: cf. F. rudiment. See Rude.] 1. That which is unformed or undeveloped; the principle which lies at the bottom of any development; an unfinished beginning.

but I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit
Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes
The monarchies of the earth.

the single leaf is the rudiment of beauty in landscape.
I. Taylor.

2. Hence, an element or first principle of any art or science; a beginning of any knowledge; a first step.

This boy is forest-born,
And hath been tutored in the rudiments
of many desperate studies.

There he shall first lay down the rudiments
Of his great warfare.

3. (Biol.) An imperfect organ or part, or one which is never developed.

Ru"di*ment, v. t. To furnish with first principles or rules; to insrtuct in the rudiments. Gayton.