# fundamental

**fundamental:** Of a periodic wave, the sinusoidal component, *i.e.,* Fourier component, having the lowest frequency. *Note:* Every periodic waveform may be expressed as the summation of the fundamental and its harmonics. For example, a square wave may be expressed as the summation of sine waves equal in frequency to the fundamental and all odd harmonics, each frequency having an appropriate amplitude and phase. A pure sinusoidal wave has only one component, *i.e.,* the fundamental. *Contrast with* **harmonic, overtone.**

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