Definition of primary adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpraɪməri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpraɪmeri//
    Types of school
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  1. 1  [usually before noun] main; most important; basic synonym prime The primary aim of this course is to improve your spoken English. Our primary concern must be the children. Good health care is of primary importance.
  2. 2  [usually before noun] (formal or specialist) developing or happening first; earliest primary causes The disease is still in its primary stage.
  3. 3  [only before noun] (especially British English) connected with the education of children between the ages of about five and eleven primary teachers compare elementary, secondary, tertiary See related entries: Types of school
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘original, not derivative’): from Latin primarius, from primus ‘first’. The noun uses date from the 18th cent.Extra examples The primary aim of this class is to improve your spoken English. It is not self-evident what the primary causes of this phenomenon are. The clinic provides primary care for people who have no health insurance.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: primary