What expression could I use when giving non-detailed answers/explanations about how something works? Let's say I want to explain how a printer works without getting into too much detail, Would it be OK to say:

  • "At a very superficial level, a printer ...."
  • "At a very high level, a printer ..."

I feel like there are more appropriate expressions to begin such type of sentence. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Essentially? E.g “a printer essentially works like a paintbrush” Basically definitely works. Fundamentally could too. Oo I’ll make a sentence out of all of them: Essentially, the words you are looking for are fundamentally the synonyms of a wide variety of basically related words. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 0:17
  • @CalendarJ What about the expressions I mentioned? Are they correct? What other word can i use after "At a very ..." to communicate that the answer is not very accurate.
    – chomba
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 2:18

3 Answers 3


"In simplest terms," would probably work for that purpose. Or "Without getting too technical/specific/detailed..." Or, if you want just one word, "Basically," would suffice.

"Basically, a printer works like this..."


Layman's Terms

Definition: layman's terms (=in words that someone who is not an expert can understand)

"In layman's terms, a printer ...."


You may use:

To put it simply, To put it plainly, In short,

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