Learner's definition of ELEMENT
1 [count], chemistry : one of the basic substances that are made of atoms of only one kind and that cannot be separated by ordinary chemical means into simpler substances 2 [count] : a particular part of something (such as a situation or activity)
Self-confidence was a key/vital element [=factor] in her success.
There's always an element of risk [=there's always some risk] in starting a new business.
There's a large element of truth [=there's a great deal of truth] in what she says.
The attackers were relying on the element of surprise. [=they were relying on their attack being a surprise]
3 [count] : a part of an electrical device that produces heat 4 elements [plural] : the most basic parts of a subject of study 5 [count] : a group of people that form part of a larger group 6 elements [plural] : the weather and especially stormy or cold weather 7 [singular] : the state or place that is normal or suited to a person or thing
At school she was (really) in her element. [=in a place where she was comortable and did well]
I tried living in the city, but I was/felt out of my element there. [=living in the city did not suit me]
8 [count] : one of the four substances (air, water, fire, and earth) that were believed in the past to make up every physical thing in the universe