Can anybody help me with meaning of "on a simplistic level", for example in:

People travel more. What are the causes?

The reasons are many and varied. On a simplistic level, there are a larger number of means of transportation. However this is not enough to explain this increase.

On a simplistic level, one may be inclined to ask: "Why not?"

I could not find any definition in the Internet.

  • It is synonymous with "on the surface" and "at first glance". Can you work out its meaning now?
    – Alexdanut
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


Simplistic means more than just 'simple'; it means that what it's describing is overly simple, that the actual situation is complex and difficult but it's being treated as though it has a single obvious answer.

In this context, 'level' refers to how deeply you are looking at the situation. You can consider only the most obvious elements that can be observed with a brief examination, or you can focus on the complex subtleties and realize that you missed a lot in that first look.

So the phrase "on a simplistic level" means "looking at only the obvious elements of the situation, ignoring any complicating factors".


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .